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British Lung Foundation
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Lung hyperinflation

Dealing with this right now. My Pulm, who thought nothing of it, well I should say, he did not know the significance of it. Well I do! He never said how it could relate to dyspnea. I just had to figure out on my own I guess. Part of the reason why I am seeing a new Pulm. Amazing how some people with lower FEV's, have no symptoms, yet mine is, well not long ago was, over 100% for my age. Hyperinflation does not happen overnight, so I wonder how long I have had it. I had a VQ scan a couple weeks ago and was normal. I am considered mild, or minimal small airway disease with mild obstruction. I would think that most people would get hyperinflation later on. Who knows. I hope that Spiriva can reduce it over time. It has been shown favorably with LVRS in this regard. Not sure if others are in the same boat and have had improvement. I have been on Spiriva only 3 weeks. Supposed to have a HRCT, with inspiration/expiration in a couple weeks and a stress ECHO. Just ready to have the tests done and move on. Not looking for any miracles, just some answers.

Be well everyone.


8 Replies

Hi Patrick, I have hyper inflated lungs too....no idea why except for the fact I smoked years ago for a short time...that's the only explanation I have been given.

Even when my oxygen levels are reasonable I can still feel breathless...maybe because my carbon dioxide and oxygen levels are out of balance.

I find the pursed lip breathing does help ...it gets rid of stale air that may be trapped in the lungs so fresh can get in. Also gentle belly breathing ...not upper chest...through the nose only. I find David Carbonells videos on You tube useful too.

It's easy to get into a cycle of breathlessness and anxiety too....I find relaxation CDs or videos help and meditation...there are Apps you can try and I found a good teacher. I have tried Buteyko breathing exercises too...but they are not suitable for everyone, as CO2 levels are pushed high for a time.

Good luck and best wishes .


You know, it is weird, I don't so much feel SOB, more that getting the air in and out is the problem. Maybe that is SOB. I don't have to stop and catch my breath, like the air is turbulent as it moves through my upper airways. I sound like Darth Vader when I breath sometimes, especially with exertion. I know, strange. I try and think how air trapping would cause that. Anyway, I do PLB, it helps sometimes. I posted something about breathing for COPD a couple days ago. Have a look if you have not.



Hi Patrick, your airways could be inflamed as well making it more difficult to breathe ...I sound like Darth too, especially on the phone and at night...I didn't sleep much last night and kept waking up to the noise.

Hopefully your new inhaler will help....I have problems if I use too much blue bronchodilator and don't balance it with a preventer.

My chest can get very tight ....someone once said it was like having an elephant sitting on your chest.

The CT scan will pick up any physical changes in your lungs.

Good luck and let us know your results


Mine comes on more with exercise. I have a Dulera for airway inflammation, which I use twice daily. I sometimes use Albuterol as well. Not often. Before all this started, I used Albuterol on the rare occasion. Like rarely. Now I can't live without the Spiriva, Dulera or the Albuterol. And while they do help, not very much. That's the thing, I am supposedly "mild, "minimal", but I don't feel that way. Well, hope to get more answers after the rest of these tests. Then I will do my best to accept what is happening and move on with just occasional doctor visits.


Morning Patrick. I do sympathise. The HRCT scan is important. This should clarify small airway disease. Sorry to repeat myself but your situation is very like mine. If it is Obliterative bronchiolitis then often the PFT results can be normal or mild. But the symptoms are not! Sometimes it is too easy for the doctors to latch onto the more common condition, like Asthma and COPD. And to be fair the common things need to be considered first.

All the best and let us know about the HRCT.

Kate xxxx


You are right. The HRCT is important. Hope it shows nothing of course. Just want to be done with all the tests. Honestly, I don't expect Ill ever be how I was. I did once when this all began, then I accepted how I felt, thought I could do this, then I got worse. And of course people listen to my lungs, examine me, and it's like all is well. Meanwhile I have some battle raging in my lungs. All this damn trapped air. I am doing all I can though. I use my inhalers, walk and some running everyday, and eat well most of the time. Not much else to do. After I get the CT, stress ECHO and follow up with the Cardiologist and new Pulm, I am done hopefully for awhile. And can just go about my business as best I can.


Let's hope things get better for you now with your new pulm.


Well I hope so. All I ask if for honestly, to look over the numbers and get an opinion. Even if they say, "I don't know." My last Pulm, did the PFT, then proceeded to point out a couple things, and did a fingerprick for AAT. I asked why, I knew why, but wanted to hear it from HIM. He just casually pointed out the lung volumes, didn't say what they meant, or anything. How they may or may not impact me. Said he didn't know the significance yet. What can you do. I take the meds, do what I can for excerise and eat well enough. Thanks for your thoughts.



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