British Lung Foundation
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COPD with normal oxygen level

Hi I am 34. I have been diagnosed with COPD. I suffer from periods of breathlessness which are often. However, my oxygen saturation seems to be normal. Should i be worried about my breathlessness?

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Hi welcome to the site. Do you know your lung function (FEV1)? Are you on any meds and which ones? As you are under 35 you should be tested for a genetic link; this is just a simple blood test so ask your doctor.

In answer to your question you can still be breathless with a normal sats level. x

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Hi, Thanks for responding. My most recent FEV1 is 2.69 (pre drug) and 2.98 (post drug). I am on Formoterol (long standing B2 agonist) for my COPD management and Salbutamol (short term B2 agonist) as my rescue medication. I also take antihistamine (Monkelaust) at night along with proton pump inhibitor (Domperidone, Pantoprazole Sodium Sesquihydrate tablets) before meal for GERD.

Coming back to my question, what should I be more worried about: low oxygen or breathlessness? This because in my case these two things are different.

P.S. I have done echo and Angiography recently. Both came as normal. So its neither a heart thing. My doctors say that its allergy. The point is throughout my life I have lived in the same city and have not been allergic to anything. So why now?

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Hi ratnobir,

My COPD was diagnosed 5 years back but only three months ago they suddenly and completely out-of-the-blue, decided that the COPD MAY BE worsened because of "environmental irritants" and now want to test to find out.

I'm under a new (to me) consultant and only after suggesting this he then asked "Do you have pets" answered yes to cat & dogs, no to birds.

I'm 60'odd and never had an allergy before. As I understand they just sneak up on us when we are not looking!

Resting O2 levels are usually 94 - 96 but breathing can be erratic even when resting sometimes! So, for me, good sats and breathlessness are miles apart (and, like you I've done the echo, angio etc)

Best wishes

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Hi don't know figures in litres only percentages but yours still look pretty good to me.

You can suddenly become allergic to anything. Eg I took penicillin for many years then suddenly I had a severe allergic reaction and I can't take it now. x

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All copders go through shorteness of breathe that is part of the disease.Worrting will not help just due what rhe doctor tell you.You are too young to live your life in worry enjoy life.God bless and breathe easy.

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As a precaution ask your doctor for heart scan, may be a slight fault that causes the breathlessness, I have been putting mu breathless down to my copd, only to find out that I have part of the heart not working properly, one small tablet at night now much better Peter

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My sats are normally 100% but I have moderate COPD and get treated for it. I look on it as a warning sign to get fit and look after my condition so that it doesn't take control of me.

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Normal ? My levels are variable,95 on a good day ,normally around 93/4 ,but when I have a chest infection they been as low as 82 ish ,,, but as for being breathless yes even with good levels . Exersise will help your condition and help keep your levels good ,

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Montelukast is a Leukotriene Receptor Antagonist, not, per se, an antihistamine. Maybe you could try Citirizine or the like, as well or instead, which is.

Also if there is an allergy element to this I'd have thought a steroid in your inhaler maybe prudent. Formoterol (LABD)+ Budesonide (Steroid) in combination = Symbicort. But you may prefer lower steroid dose than S, so could start you on Clenil Modulite & keep Formoterol as is.

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Thanks. I will try that and get back to you.

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