Feel like I'm getting worse - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

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Feel like I'm getting worse


Hi everyone, I was diagnosed with mild COPD in November last year. I was brought up in a pub in the days when everyone smoked. I was a smoker myself too. Gave up 13 years ago. Anyway, in November the respiratory nurse said I shouldn't need to use the spirva dry powder, but was told to use the blue ventolin as and when required. At first I was fine, joined a gym too and started to eat better, even losing a few pounds. I was using the inhaler only a few times a week but definately at the gym. At this point I should say, my doctor had thought for a while that I had exercise induced asthma! I'm still not convinced I have COPD, however the lasts they did revealed I had a lung function of 86%.

I've just been on holiday, getting back just last week so catching up on things and falling off the wagon with diet and exercise. I'm now finding that I'm using the inhaler 4/5 times a day. I feel rubbish and very tired. To be truthful I'm getting really worried and don't quite know what my next step should be. Is it possible for my condition to be deteriorating this quickly. I work full time but not due to go back for two weeks. I'm worrying that I'm not gunna be able to work.

Any advice would be appreciated.


16 Replies

It is unusual for someone with COPD to have only a ventolin inhaler. I would be asking to see a respiratory consultant. You can ring the BLF nurses to ask advice on 03000 030 555 during office hours.

Twoose in reply to mrsmummy

That's the only inhaler my gp prescribed for me despite having a fev1 of 38%. Some GPS give you the cheapest first and hope you go away!

mrsmummy in reply to Twoose

Do you still only have the one?

Twoose in reply to mrsmummy

No I asked to see a consultant, but there was a delay of several months for an appointment so I went privately and saw a consultant 10 days later who checked my spirometry again it had gone down to 28%. He put me on spiolto respimat immediately . I haven't looked back since

Hi Deb. I wouldn't have thought so, but you may have a chest infection brewing or some other nasty. Wouldn't hurt to let your GP check you over.

Hope you're feeling better soon. Pam XXX

Deb1702 in reply to Pam1952

Thanks Pam.

Go back to go and say ventolin is not working

Hi Deb, A lung function of 86% is really good. I'm sure we all wish we could say that. Are they even sure you have copd? You didn't mention your age. How is your peak flow? As mild as you are, you should still be breathing well. I'm inclined to agree, you might have an infection. Or asthma. Ruby🌹

Deb1702 in reply to rubyred777

Hi Ruby, I've just turned 51 last Friday. The Doctor initially thought I had asthma. My peak flow measures around 400 to 430 on a good day. Just recently though I'm not making 350. My mum died 8years ago after suffering with COPD for years. She was in a real bad way towards the end. It's probably remembering how ill she was that is frightening me. Usually my breathing is laboured only during exercise or any moderate physical action. But again the last few weeks, I have symptoms of breathlessness when just sitting without exertion at all. Strange.

Deb 😀

rubyred777 in reply to Deb1702

That is strange, Deb. Are you wheezing? Does the inhaler bring your peak flow up any? Don't know if you have a oximeter. If so, How is your oxygen level? I would definitely call the Dr. When I get an infection, I wheeze and my peak flow is lower. Also my oxygen level.🌸🌸

Yeah I am wheezing quite a bit. It's waking me during the night. The inhaler does help and brings up my peak flow. Think I'll ring the GP for an appointment. Thanks Ruby 💐

Hello Deb1702 .

I am sorry to hear you're not doing so well at the moment. I think seeing your doctor and really discussing these things and perhaps sorting out the medication issues will help no end.

I think you also mentioned you've been on holiday and perhaps not exercising as you usually do. I know when I skip a few days of exercise I feel worse for wear. Don't however, start over exerting yourself. You will need to slowly ease back into it.

Winter with it's cold dry air definitely makes me more wheezy as well. Climate has a lot to do with the state of our breathing I think.

Try not to panic although it's easy for me to say. Remember that we have ups and downs and we just have to try and go with the flow as best we can.

Thinking of you.

Cas xx 🌻🌼🌸

Thanks Graham. Take care

Thank you


Hi I agree with the others that a lung function of 85% is really good. You are only 5 points off the normal stage. However it sounds like you might need a preventer inhaler as well as the blue ventolin as this is only a reliever. Go back to your respiratory nurse or doctor and request one. The preventer is used to open your airways so you can breathe better. x

Deb1702 in reply to Hidden

Thanks very much x

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