Hi My name is dennis and 1 year ago to the day a cat scan showed mild upper lung marking of emphysema... im 55 and have smoked for the past 42 years.. im trying to quit.. i went to see a pulmonologist and he perform a pft test and listened to my lungs.. he also tested me for the alpha 1 and it was negative.... he said my lungs were clear and dint here any wheezing or crackling... the pft numbers are as follows ....fvc. 87%.... fev1 81%.... fev1/fvc 92%.....fef25% 83%.... fef 25%-75% 61% fef max 93% ... what does this mean because i constantly cough and have tons of anxiety everyday from this

27 Replies

  • Hi Dennis welcome to the site.   FEV1 means your lung function and at 81% this is much better than most on here.   To put it into perspective 90-99% is just considered a variation of the norm and you are very mild.  

    I was diagnosed at 56 6 years ago at around mid 70's and still am.  Although copd is a progressive disease it usually only progresses very slowly as long as you look after yourself.  Stopping smoking is the biggest thing you can do to help yourself along with leading a healthy lifestyle with exercise and a good diet.   There is a quit site on here which is brilliant and will help you.

    You might be coughing because some people do when they smoke.  If you have already given up then it is a sign your lungs are clearing themselves which is good.  The cough should recede in time.

    As for anxiety although you have to learn to look after your lungs and take any infection seriously,  please don't worry too much.  My doctor told me that at my age something else would get me first ie old age.  So unless you want to live to 120...

    Ask your doctor to refer you to PR (pulmumory rehabilitation).  This is weekly or so for around 10 weeks.   There will be a respiratory trained nurse there to answer questions and you learn exercises to help.  

    Any problems or questions just jump in as we all support and help each other on here.    x

  • Brilliant advice from coughalot - the very best.

  • Of course tee hee xx

  • Can't argue with that Bev. Gold Star!!!


  • TY very much   for  replying  to me.... my  pulmonologist   said  my  emphysema is very mild  espicially  for  smoking  42 years now... he  didnt prescribe  any  meds or inhalers and basically  said  quit  smoking and  i  would be  ok.... im  trying  to  quit  and have  cut  down  a bit each  day ..... i  do  seem  to get alot of  symptoms  though... i  have a  constant  hacking cough  and  i have noticed  i  wake  up  after  only a  few hours  of   sleep  with  this  terrible  kinda   dry  cough  in my  upper  throat.   with    clearish   mucus..  it  actually  hurts  in  my  throat   by   my  adams  apple   when  i  breath  making  me  cough and  kinda  like   a   sore  pain.... i have a pulse ox  i  purchased  and  it  seems  its  down  around   90  to  93   but   when i  get up out of bed  it  goes  up  to between  94  and  97    as  i  cough  alot....can i  be  having  all  this   symptoms   being   so   mild????????  

  • Yes you can Dennis!   You are cutting down the ciggies and your lungs are starting to clear themselves which is a good sign coz it shows that the cilia I(the little hairs on your lungs) are recovering.  It can take up to 6 months for the cough to clear properly,  but it is worth it coz it will stop your copd from getting worse in the long term, 

    Also the evil weed has a sophoric effect on lungs and to a large extent blocks bacteria from entering them.   Your sats are good and you don't need to worry unless they drop to the mid 80's. 

    The other thing which is affecting you is your anxiety,  This can make your symptoms seem a lot worse than they are.   Perhaps some anxiety meds from your doctor would help?  

    You need to accept that you have a chronic condition and once you have accumulated enough knowledge about your lungs much of the fear will recede.  

    Then you can mainly forget it and carry on with your normal life.   If you are in the UK then contact the BLF - number under the red balloon and they can send you out loads of bumph and you can also talk to a respiratory nurse who will answer your questions. 

    Remember that copd with an 'e' added spells COPED and that's what you will learn to do as we all have to.   x



  • TY   AGAIN 

  • TY again  for  all  the help.   i  am in  the  states   and  have  cut   down   to  between   13   and   20  ciggs per  day   over  the  past  year   and  i  must  quit   real  soon 

  • Do any of you use inhalers and do they help with the COPD?  Good luck to all. 

  • Hi and welcome. That cough is telling you that it's time to lose the cigs I'm afraid. I used and still use ecigs which the nurse is fine about and managed to stop quite painlessly. Not an expert on the number but coughalot says they're pretty good and the fev1 looks a lot better than mine and I still work and do pretty much what I want so don't be too anxious. It is a worry when you find out you have health problems but with the changes to your life style it will progress slowly so don't worry too much x

  • Hello Dennis,

    I see you first posted your pft results a year ago, and were given similar advice, to quit the ciggies, to help slow down the progression.

    It sounds as if a lot of your anxiety, may be guilt ? because you have not managed to quit , and yes your cough will get worse.

    You are still very mild, but you have dropped from last year.

    It is a struggle to quit, and you have probably tried most things over the last year to help, so Dennis it may come down to will power if you want to give yourself the best chance of staying mild.

    Join the quit site on here, and get yourself an E CIGGIE, both help.

    Pack up now my friend, it's essential.

    Good luck, you CAN do it.

    Velvet xx

  • ty

  • G'day Dennis

    Sad you had to find this site, but glad that you did. You will meet some extraordinary "family" here, great humor, strong advice and most of all friendship.

    Do you have  the DLCO (sometimes shown as TLCO) readings in % ?

    Your other sats readings indicate a small decrease from the "Normal range".

    Percentages are sometimes confusing as 80% is considered a little low for your age but can be a whole lot worse if your age was, say ,30.

    I concur with Coughalot re smoking.

    My father smoked all his life and tried so many times to quit, without success.

    Would you believe that the day the Dr told him he had lung cancer he quit. Never smoked again and he lasted 5 more years before he moved his furniture upstairs.

    Welcome to the 'Family"

    Will (Australia)

  • i  only had a  complete  spirometry  back on  april 9th  2015   and  a  bunch of  short  form  pfts    done   since  2004  .  heres   the   dclo  and  other    numbers   from  last year...fvc 105%...fev1 98%....  fev1/fvc 93%   fef25%-75%  75%....  then   the lung volumes  were  svc 98%....  ic  106%....  erv 77%.... tgv 137%....  rv 174%....tlc 122%..... rv/tlc 141%.....   then   the  diffusion number  were dlco 112%....  dl/va  106%   va 105%...  those   number   are  from  the  c omplete  spirmoetry test  i had  last year the    past  week   they only   did  the basic  short   pft  test  and  those  numbers  are ....fvc. 87%.... fev1 81%.... fev1/fvc 92%.....fef25% 83%.... fef 25%-75% 61% fef max 93% ... 

  • Hi escaping the fact you will be here for only a short time longer if you keep smoking.It's a fact and time you stopped burying head in the sand.I smoked 25 a day for 40 years and tried patches etc...even hypnotism failed me.Champix saved my life.Very few side affects.....what's better...the odd weird dream or being buried?My FEV stable at 26% for last year so am lucky am here....would be dead if had not stopped smoking 15 months ago.

    You'll meet some great helpful people on here but do stop fooling yourself.

    All the best...Piping

  • G'day Dennis

    Thank you for the stats.

    If you care to look at peter's reply (Piping) you will see his FEV is at 26% so you can see where he is coming from. Compare it to yours 87%.

    You are in a far better position than he is ,health wise, but his words ring true. I know Peter and he has really pushed himself to accept that he wants to extend his life and by quitting he believes he will succeed.    So do I.    Peter is a fighter as I am sure you are.

    You have so much going for you in that you are still in good shape, so I guess my question to you is, what is more important to you,  your right to continue with your current lifestyle and possibly see your numbers decrease dramatically,or,accept the facts and repair your body while there is still time.

    The most sobering impact you will have is to visit a lung hospital, and see for yourself, the anguish of those poor souls, who do not have the opportunity that you have.

    If you feel that you cannot quit by yourself please find a support group.

    The ball is in your court mate.


  • ty

  • Hi Dennis. ..I love to be able to be supportive like the rest of the guys on this forum. ...but I can't get my head round to seeing it like them...

    You was sooooo lucky to have been  diagnosed with such a good FVE1 yet you still smoking and you can't work out why your coughing...

    A year on and you still smoke.

    My advice is to save the anxiety for when things start to get bad...and they will...and then from bad to worse....and there's no turning the clock back when it comes to the lungs...don't believe. ..wait and see 😢

    Stop smoking completely. .....cutting down from two boxes to one box a day..or from 5 cigs to one still irritating your throat. 

    17% drop in one year ...I don't think you can afford to wait much longer.

    Good luck Dennis.

  • Hi DennisAmerica I smoke and trying to stop iv bought a vape but it's very hard to stop so I no what you going through good luck 

  • ty

  • Hi Dennis I was 42 years old when diagnosed 11 years ago.

    I gave up smoking when I was diagnosed with the help of champix and for the first 3 years my lung function stayed the same I'm stage 4 now but I'm really pleased I gave up smoking I would of been in a wheel chair on oxygen now.

    I'm still able to look after myself even though having a shower makes me so breathless I'm independent but only because I gave up smoking.

    We are hear to support you if you need any help

  • Sorry  to hear that  your  stage 4   after   quiting  11yers  ago....   i  feell   that if  i still  quit now   as  satge   1  ill  be   stage  4   within a  few years  also

  • I feel because I have given up smoking I'm able to fight the chest infections I don't regret giving up at all my quality of life has been much better.

  • 1 More  thing  i  notice... i have a pulse ox   and  when im laying  down or  sitting  relaxing  watching  tv   my  o2 sats  go  down  to between  90 and  94,,  but  when i  see  this  i  take a  deep  breathe  or get  up   then  they  go back up  96  or  97   sometimes  98...  does  this mean my lungs   arent  that bad  yet.... most people  say  their  o2  drops   when  the  exaert  or  walk   around    ... mine  only   seem  to  go  down  when im  relaxing  or   sleeping

  • Hi Dennis,you have very mild emphysema going by your numbers.81% Fev1. I have very severe emphysema Fev1 of 20% .If you stop smoking NOW you might not suffer much more damage to your lungs and could lead a normal life.If not you might end up like me.I have difficulty doing most things,walking ,bathing everything.i would,nt wish my condition on anybody so give up the smokes please.The most important thing you will EVER do.D.

  •  Dennis, I've read all 25 replies to you on this site and have come to one conclusion . . . quit smoking. Cutting down cigarettes is not quitting. If you have one cigarette a day you still want the rest of the pack.  Get serious and quit fooling yourself. If you want to quit, quit. If you want to die, don't quit.  And as far as TRYING to quit smoking, you can't TRY to quit smoking. You have to QUIT smoking. Steers try. (And they don't get the job done.) All my love, GrannaOnTheFarm


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