British Lung Foundation
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I'm NEW ...5th Nov firework/ bonfire night soon should I go?

Scared!! Thank goodness I have found this website after reading some of the others and scaring me to death!!!! I have just been diagnosed with moderate copd! I was diagnosed about 7 years ago that I had asthma, no treatment I was given ever really helped me and I never felt it was asthma. Up to 7 years ago I smoked but because I felt so unwell, really struggling to breath when walking etc, I decided I had to stop. I'm on spiriva now (3wks) and ventolin when needed which is a lot when I go out walking!! I started with chest/throat infections just at Christmas about 7 years ago now I am lucky if I go a month/6 weeks between each one now. Some say I should stay away from the firework events as it will further damage my lungs! Anyone know if this is true? Having copd review next week.

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20 Replies

I would agree best stay clear its bad enough the air will be thick with it.

But it all depends what you think with it could try enjoy yourself as air quality is going to be bad anyway .. Just see how it go's leave diary entry open :)

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SAdly I can no longer tolerate fireworks as the cordite hits my chest very badly - maybe view from afar?

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I certainly can't tolerate fireworks / bonfires. I shall stay inside.

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Any kind of smoke can affect me. Just walking past people who are smoking a cigarette outside makes me uncomfortable though it soon passes. Joyce

1 like mod. i will not go to fireworks shows ,im never wheezy or breathless ,but cover you face with a scarf and stand well back if you go,we have to live a life even with this, up to you,

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I'd just say only go if the air quality was ok - if it's a clear night perhaps go, but not if there's any fog/mist or rain because the smoke can't clear. Must be hard for anyone with children, altho I'd like to see bonfires and fireworks banned at all but public displays anyway! Hope you have a good time whatever you decide to do. x

As someone else said it's hard if you have kids and need to take them. As for me I'm moderate and have been infection free for months I avoid all kinds of smoke I just can't tolerate them.

Hi thank you all very much for the replies! Smoke definitely affects me along with other things. Yes we have children, ours are all grown up now, we are foster parents so it's really difficult I think I'll go and cover my mouth/nose with a scarf and stay a little back and hopefully the weather won't be too bad! Fingers crossed then! I LOVE our fire pit but think it's time to give it away :-(

I am thinking after 7 years you may already know what exacerbates your symptoms, but then if you haven't done a Pulmonary Rehabilitation course you may not be aware of the triggers.

Generally smoke of any kind can trigger an exacerbation of symptoms. Smoke can cause further lung damage.

Below is a link about London Air pollution and Fireworks, the page includes further links concerning this matter:

Me I wouldn't go near. But it is your choice and if you don't know already how it may affect you, if you decide to go you will surely find out. But do as advised already, stand away from the smoke, cover nose and mouth with scarf etc.

Some could be in serious difficulty and end up in A&E and others just suffer a few hours after exposure. But if someone should ever say they are ok with smoke (fireworks or other), it doesn't mean everyone will be and could be detrimental to many people who have damaged lungs.

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Welcome JeaneAnne. If the firework stay in the air (!), you might not be affected. For me, it's not only the smoke that bothers me, but the fact that it is usually a cold night. People around are sturdy and brace themselves. I get so chilly, I feel unwell. So I prefer to hear them from home and see some of it from my back garden , but indoors!

If you're a person that doesn't mind the cold night, so be it, enjoy yourself. You say, your kids are grown up, so won't go.

I was in Barking once and they had a big bonfire in the park, with a Guy Falk being burnt on it. I still found that after the hot fire, it was chilly going home! You make up your mind. Perhaps, someone can take you there and back. Take care and look after your lungs!

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BlakeyC I haven't been sent for a PR yet hopefully soon! We live in leicestershire I have my Copd review on the 5th nov must admit I'm finding all the info myself haven't been told anything from the copd nurse as of yet. Helingmic yes the cold weather does affect me (as does hot weather humid etc) I'll be taking a hot water bottle to keep the chill away, my husband will be with us so I'll stay as long as I can. I did go last year but between then and now my symptoms have become worse over the last year so this maybe my last one i attend! I think I have another chest infection coming so that will be the decision maker at the end of the day!! Thanks guys

Hi Jeannanne, do ask about PR your doctor can refer you:

Hope you get on ok and its not a chest infection you are coming down with. Take good care.


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Best to stay well away. I intend to stay indoors.

Hello Jeannanne so pleased you found us, if the cold air affects you I wouldnt go, I cant do cold air, hot air, any smoke at all and some purfumes, dust lol......................... so may things set me off, mind you I do have severe copd and asthma aswell, you just take care and go by how you feel on the day, and of course the weather conditions Joan x

Aww thanks guys for all your support and guidance! A couple more questions can only a dr refer or can the copd nurse, feel like I live at the doctors!! Lol. Joan they think I have asthma still just waiting for the 5th nov. Who knows more the dr or the copd nurse??? I don't feel so alone now :-) My hubby's not sure how to deal with this news I think he's in shock he's gone quiet and does everything not to discuss it! :-( but is helpful.

I will be going to our sons with my Husband. I like to see fireworks from inside. I wouldn't let my Husband outside because of the cold and the fumes from the fireworks. When I was a child my Mother was lighting the fireworks in the back garden. My sisters and I were inside. The fireworks were in a biscuit tin. A spark must have gone into the tin and set the lot off. It was the best show we ever saw. Aside from that I hate the bangs it makes me cringe. The smoke can't be good for anyone with lung problems.

As we are bringing up our granddaughter I probably should take her to a bonfire but i have to stay well away from the smoke and I find cold and damp really tricky. I would like to view from a reinforced bubble ...Alison

Hi Alison I know just how you feel its difficult because you want to enjoy it with them. Is there anyone else who can take her? Or a family one you could all attend and you watch from a window maybe?! I'm at the doctors now waiting as very tight chest! Don't think I'll be going! Take care x

Hi and welcome Jeannaanne. I have very severe emphysema but the weather doesn't seem to affect me much. I am an animal lover but the boy in me still likes fireworks so I'll be outside watching them. Best to watch upwind of the smoke.

Hi puffthemagicdragon hope you enjoy the f/w's I'm going to brave them too!

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