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Asthma likely to progress to COPD?

Got asthma with partial reversibility on spirometry. Well-controlled on Fostair. Had it since I was a child (with a break in my late 20s to early 40s, now 50). Asked the consultant today if it is likely to keep progressing and become COPD and he pursed and wriggled his lips and then said "well it MAY not", if you keep taking your steroids.

I am now of course really worried. Any one else been told their asthma may progress to COPD? Anyone know what timescales we are talking about? I do not know whether I should start thinking about early retirement and doing my bucket list.

7 Replies

We like to have definite answers, it's part of being human, but the flip side of this is you may well NOT develop COPD.

On that wonderful basis I would suggest that you enjoy all that you can today. Yes make your bucket list if you want to but only because you want to do all the things that make your life, and those around you, good today! Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring and having a long term illness is no exception. Of course ensuring you plan financially is a part of it, but no one has a crystal ball. I've had family members planning for years ahead and then unexpectedly their lives were shortened and the opposite where they lived much longer than they thought possible.

Enjoy this day and live it as well as possible.


It shouldn't, as COPD is usually associated with smoking. But as I don't have COPD I don't really know.


As strongmouse says, you can't know. Your best bet is to do all the usual healthy things about diet and exercise (and never, ever panic) and in all probability, you'll be fine!


Thank you - and taking the steroids regularly and avoiding infections and poor air quality, I presume. Any particular diet that is healthy? I eat lots of fruit and veg and take fish oil, multivitamin and turmeric supplements.

1 like

Hi I have asthma and 20 years later was diagnosed with copd. However this could well have been coz I continued smoking. There are no definitive answers to this. However even if it does progress you will probably only be mild. At that level and even moderate you can still live a long and healthy life.

Copd is progressive but with leading a healthy lifestyle you can hold it stable for many years and most these days die with copd rather than from it. So save your bucket list for later. x


Thank you HyperCat. These replies are helping me to catastrophise less. I hope you are doing OK x

1 like

I suffer with copd and asthma at a severe level. Smoking is the main culprit for copd . Its not something all asthmatics develop however if u are a smoker and an a asthmatic u are obviously at greater risk.


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