Hi All. I'm writing this post as I'm a bit scared about the continual production of mucus from my left lung. I have little to no cough, just a frequent stream of mucus that seems to come from my left lung. I don't cough the mucus up, I just hack it up when I can feel it lingering in the left side of my throat.
For the record, I'm a 36 year old male who smoked for about 16 years, nearly a pack a day. I had PFT's done prior to quiting (FEV1 at 90% of predicted, all other metrics in normal to good range except for a lowered DLCO at 70% predicted). A few days ago I had another set of PFT's preformed (FEV1 at 92% and surprisingly DLCO up to 74%).
My pulmonologist says that all he can see from my CT scans is a very mild case of emphysema. He's a bit baffled about the DLCO score based on my CT scans and as of yet has no answer for the heavy mucus production.
I've been on Advair since December and at times it seems to help the shortness of breath I sometimes experience but does nothing for the mucus. I have a rescue inhaler that I use from time to time when my lungs feel tight but, same as the Advair, it does nothing for the mucus. I also use Musinx when I feel the mucus building in my lower lungs.
If it helps, I avoid all foods that increase mucus production and generally eat an anti-inflammatory diet. The other somewhat confounding piece is that I have MS and pretty regularly experience something called the MS hug (a symptom where my entire torso feels as if it's being crushed in a vice) and it's hard to differentiate this sensation from lung tightness. My O2 stats remain in the 96-99 range even while I feel incredibly short of breath. I've also had a full cardiac workup to rule out any heart issues.
I'm scared that this mucus, shortness of breath, and feeling as if my left lung is constantly being filled with mucus won't go away. I understand that every quit is different and I've been holding out hope that these symptoms will abate. I understand it's possible to have increased mucus production for quite some time after quitting smoking but, this feels as if it's been going on forever.
I'm just looking for a bit of hope, a shared experience, or even some sage advice as to what to do or ask.
Thank you all for your time and support.