Mild background copd stopped smoking ... - British Lung Foun...

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Mild background copd stopped smoking for a year got chest infection now got emphysema


Last year was diognosed with mild back ground copd 

Got chest infection this year was told I have emphysema  so much for stopping smoking did me 

I am so confused with all this don't know what to do my spirometrey test was 89% this is stressing me out so much I'm. Bk on the cigs 😕 anyone who can me me any adive I would be very great full I'm all so on citalipam  for all the stress this has caused 

18 Replies

Hi please don't worry so much.  I know it is shocking to receive news like this but 89% lung function is very very mild copd.    Between 90-100% is just considered a variation of the norm.    You have done the best thing in stopping smoking as this will stop it from accelerating so much.  I was diagnosed with mid 70's lung function around 6 years ago at the age of 56.   I am still at the same level now.  The doctor told me not to worry coz something else would get me first ie old age!

You need to ensure you live as healthy a life as possible ie good diet,  exercise and generally looking after your lungs.  If you get a chest infection or just an exacerbation (a general worsening of your symptoms not cause by an infection),  make sure you seek help from your doctor.    Worry and anxiety will make your breathing worse.  

There are plenty of folk on here who would kill for a lung function that good.   Lots here are below 50% or less and still have good lives and even working. 

Please don't google indiscrimantly as you will only scare yourself.  Stick to recognised sites like this one or the NHS.  x

Hidden in reply to Hidden

Thank you for your reply this seems to be on my mind constantly I try not to worry about it but at the momen it's not happening my farther died over 20 years ago from the same dieasese  I just wish the doctors would give more advice on emphasise instead of just saying I have got it go away and deal with it 

Glad to hear you are managing with your diognoises x 

Hidden in reply to Hidden

Well to put it another way Mollie would you be so worried if the doctor had told you your lung function was say 92%?   At 92% you wouldn't be diagnosed with copd would you?  It's only 3 points difference.  

If your doctor was concerned it would be much more worrying wouldn't it?    You just need more information on it which you will find on this site and the NHS.  Once you have got a handle on it you will be fine.   You have a long and healthy life to live yet.    I am sorry about your father but his lung function must have been much lower than yours.  What happened to him isn't going to happen to you.  x

mmzetor in reply to Hidden

sorry to hear you lost your dad to emphysema , there are lots more different inhalers now to then that can help relive symptoms , try not to worry to much as what cough a lot said is right 89 is only very mild  if you look after your self you should be fine

Hi, Mollie and welcome. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are grouped together under the umbrella term COPD so your diagnosis hasn't changed, and as coughalot says, 89% is classed as mild. However, smoking will accelerate the decline in your lung function so giving up or going on smoking is simply a choice between living and dying. Sounds harsh? Yes, but someone saying this to me helped me to stop. I hope it does the same for you. Good luck.

peege in reply to Toci

A warm welcome to you Mollie. You will learn a great deal here to understand why you must stop smoking. I agree wholeheartedly with Toci.

Being very mild you have the wonderful opportunity to changing the outcome of your life. 

Today is your first day, please quit smoking ASAP, you know you can do it. 😃


Mollie, I was a determined smoker and the shock of finding myself in A&E with breathing difficulty was the kick i needed to quit. That was 3 months ago. Forgetting about the physical health benefits of quitting, i have £500 more than I would have had, I don't smell awful and I dont feel like a slave. Stopping has also stopped my lung problem from getting any worse. I used to hate people who told me the benefits of quitting....

Good luck

Not quite so Desperate Dad


Thank you for all your replys it has helped a lot ☺

Take care and Have a good weekend x


Hidden i shouldnt worry to much about numbers my nurse told me that anything over 70 is normal my last test was 67 and i was classed as borderline mild copd im like you on citelepram been on them for years . Try to stop smoking again i stopped ten days ago its a struggle but i wont let it beat me 

Hi Mollie welcome to the site. I know it's worrying but your lung function is pretty good and if you look after yourself may not get any worse. You said you are back on the cigs!!!! This will be the quickest way to worsen your condition please please ditch them.    Unfortunately it is the cigs that have more than likely caused the problem. COPD is an umberella term to emphysema and various other lung diseases. Please give the cigs up and take care x

Never heard of background copd i thought you had it or you dont .Athough it does go in 4 stages but very sorry you have this condition i know how you feel ,xx

Sorry to hear you have COPD.  I can't better coughalot's two excellent replies, but I can only repeat that 89% is a good reading.  As for the ciggies, are you smoking to alleviate you anxiety?  If so, please give them up.  They are only making the situation worse.  Keep well, and above all don't worry so much.

All the best

Advice piece #1.  Stop smoking.  You have to do that, to avoid a rapid deterioration of your lungs.

Advice piece #".  Don't consult "Dr. Google".  You'll go from mild emphysema to dead in three clicks.

COPD _is_ emphysema (and chronic bronchitis.  It's probably the fags that did it in the first place.  I wouldn't worry about a 89% spirometry: mine's only 30% -- go halves with you???

Stay here, don't panic, keep exercising...  There's so much to tell you, Mollie -- but quit the fags as of NOW, please.



Mollie if you want help and support unhitched yourself from cigarette smoking, it's only a click away :

...and I know smokers don't like being told stuff but I would suggest you don't take up the e-cigs. I did that and after 6 weeks, gained the worst cough I've ever had in my life, which turned out to be asthma, apparently triggered by the e-cig liquid. You also retain the mindset of a smoker, producing clouds, getting the taste, sucking it in etc. Better to just stop and make air the only thing you inhale!

Hidden in reply to Hidden

If it helps her to get off the ciggies an e-cig is well worth it.   There has just been a very big study done and doctors have determined that while it's not good to inhale any vapour at all,  they have come to the conclusion that using e-cigs is much much better than smoking.   They recommended that they be used as another stop smoking aid on the NHS.  x


Welcome to the forum. 89% is the stuff of dreams! I know you're stressed. I think we've all been there and are still there at one time or another. It's a major shock to get the news. In your case, you can minimise the decline but you need to stop smoking asap as the others have said. Keep fit and as healthy as possible and go to the doctor as soon as you feel anything on your chest. I'm just turned 40, my lung function is in low 50% with no hope of recovery and I've never smoked. Please take the advice given here as this bunch have been through it all xx

hi I was the same ended up in hospital for nearly a year just for stopping smoking so I went back on them

Hidden in reply to tigplyer

Hi tygplyer

I am trying to stop again hope you can do it as well got spirometrey test next Thursday  dreading it 😕

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