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British Lung Foundation
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28 yrs old and has emphysema.


I am 28 years old and just diagnosed with emphysema.

What should I do now?

I already quit smoking since 3 months ago when the doctor diagnosed me with emphysema. Doctor said nothing to worry but I am still worrying about it.

Please help me.

I also attached my Spirometry Test.

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21 Replies

Hi welcome, I have Emphysema, along with many here. Take control of it. You have made a good start ditching the smoking now keep active, exercise, eat well, try to keep a positive attitude and hopefully you will slow its progression. Sorry I don't understand the spiro results I tend to ignore numbers. Someone on here will be able to help. Keep tuned in you will learn much useful info.

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Thank you for the reply.

The doctor told me to swim and eat more fruits and vegetables.

Hello Tjongdicky, welcome to the site. It is a shock at your age to get such a diagnosis. But with future healthy lifestyle you will be able to lead a long active life. The doctors advice is sound and you have done the best thing giving up smoking. Now you need to build up your strength with moderate exercise, swimming is brilliant. If you need more advice there are lots of friends on here who can speak from experience I am, sure they will be along later. The helpline is another useful source of info and ideas. Best wishes hope to see more of you in future.

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Wow tjongdicky, that's a young age to have emphasema, didn't think they could diagnose it from spirometery reading ( I thought it was X-ray or ct scan ) I was told my age 41 was young and was tested for Alpha 1 Antitryspin Defiency which I have ZZ phenotype, it's genetic from birth and causes lung problems early even more so if u smoke, just a thought to ask for the test because of ur age, does anyone else in the family have it ??? Anyway good on ya for quitting, eat healthy and exercise as much as u can. Take care x Sonia x

Hi Sonia,

Thank you for the reply.

I started smoking when I was in High School. Not really a heavy smoker, I am more to social smoker. The doctor said I still have good lung function. Are there anyone in here can read my spirometry test?

Nope my family does not have it.

Hi again I'm not great at understanding these things but looking at ur fev1 it appears quite high suggesting very mild copd, but like I say I'm not good with these but some people on here are great and hopefully can give U better answers than me. X Sonia x

Thank you Sonia.

Good Morning! My husband has severe COPD and was diagnosed with a spirometry test. Having said that I have little clue as to the results on your test - a call to the helpline might be useful the nurses will be able to tell you what it means. That would be very helpful.

You have done the most important thing - you have stopped smoking so that should halt any further damage. SO now it is important that you keep yourself well. My advise would be to go to the doctor if your symptoms become worse - more coughing, more breathless, different colour sputum which could indicate an infection. My husband never went to the doctor and I am convinced that some of the damage could have been prevented by going and getting antibiotics. There are lots of great meds. available so dont hesitate to go back to the doctor if you think you are getting more breathless.

Keep fit! It is really important to keep fit and strong. If you are anything like me exercise is a damn chore but you must keep as fit as you can and fight COPD. My husband tries but really........... not hard enough!!!!

Do not google!! Do not worry - my husband is old now! and he still works full time. Life is good just a lot slower than anyone else. Enjoy your life! Lots of love TAD xx


Thanks a lot for your support.

Yes I think I should see a doctor regularly. Also I have one question here, I usually go to the gym to do the weight lifting. I googled it and it is not recommended to do weight lifting. Is it okay to still doing weight lifting?

Actually I dont know! But I would have thought it would be good for you to strengthen your upper body? The BLF helpline might be able to advise. Take care and keep fit! TAD xx

Hi tjongdicky. I notice on the readout your lung age is 25 yet you are 28. So I reckon you have very mild emphysema, or even very, very mild emphysema.

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Yes the doctor also told me so. Nothing to worry about but I have to stop smoking, which I did. Doctor also told me to exercise regularly and eat healthy foods such as veggies and fruits.

The only thing is maybe I am worrying to much. I was shocked when I know I have emphysema.

I have very severe emphysema, Stage 4. I do ok and don't really worry about it. I used to when first diagnosed 3 years ago though ! :)

So no need to worry.

Hello tjongdicky,

If you would like to discuss your results or the management of emphysema with one of our respiratory nurses, please give us a call on 03000 030 555 or email us via the website and we will reply in confidence.


Best regards,


Welcome to this site! Believe me, you will get tremendous support and help from everyone. Firstly try not to panic. I was diagnosed with emphysema about 10 years ago and I am VERY ancient so I expected to drop down dead any day......well, I am still here!! Seriously, the word emphysema is frightening, but as everyone else will tell you, there is so much you can do to cope with it and live a full life without being frightened. Also, try and get yourself on to the Pulmonary rehabilitation clinic...you will learn an awful lot from that...check at your surgery about it. I am sure lots of others will be telling you this too, so I won't say much more, as you will get bored with all the repetitions!!! You are young and there is superb medical help out there for you, so relax, try not to worry, and keep checking this site!!!!!!! Lots of good wishes to you.....you have many many many years to live and enjoy. :)

Hi tjongdicky nice to meet you and welcome to the site. I can't add to what the others have said except just to say hi. x

Hi and Welcome, you can help yourself by keeping as fit as possible and generally taking care of yourself. Quitting smoking is a great thing to have done and good on you for that. Try and stay calm and get as much info as you can from this site, BLF and your GP. There is life after diagnosis so try and stay positive. Good luck to you and take care. xxxxx

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Agree with others and welcome, I think you may need more info than you have and better to ask for a second opinion on results and if further testing is required, easy to walk away and be told just that in a spiro test worrying you and not good enough . I have a son of 21 and would be looking for a more in-depth opinion from Dr No 2 without a doubt. Yes your young, given up the smoke well done, go for the Gym and keep fit but ask for more than you have that's not enough info ... The more you ask the more you will understand, never just accept one thing with ease when its medically related.. Chill you still have loads of life ahead, relax and stop worrying just re-book and get another view on this x

Hello and welcome, you have found the right place for good and friendly advice. I too suffer with emphysema and all I can add to previous posts is that a spiometry reading does not mean a lot if you suffer from emphysema. I gave my reading to the Consultant and he threw it in he bin, saying the spirometer does not allow for people who have emphysema and gives ridiculous readings. Mine was 108% Presumably you had a high reading and that was why the doctor diagnosed emphysema. Try not to worry return to your doctor and I m sure he will be able to explain the level of your illness and advise how to control your symptoms. Good luck barnowl.

That's really young ask for blood test for alpha 1 Antitrypsin which is a genetic disorder however could account for your diagnosis :)

Yow man! How are you? pls reply!

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