Copd and emphysema diagnosed

It's been ten months since my diagnosis, and I'm confused. I have no problems breathing, really no symptoms to talk about. Emotionally I went into denial, yet I stopped smoking regardless. I'm not sure what's going on with this. I don't wheez, no crackling noises and I breathe just fine. I have never had oxygen, and I've never coughed. Any feed back would be great.


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44 Replies

  • Hi that's great as it means you are very mild. Well done for stopping smoking as this is the best thing could do to stop it getting worse. Now with a healthy lifestyle you have every chance of it progressing very little. Long may you remain symptom free.

  • Thanks for the reply, I just read an article on the tests required to determine and confirm my conditions were never performed at any time. This was never done by any doctor. Awaiting your reply.

  • On what basis were you diagnosed then?

  • I had an mri for an epigastric herina, they mis diagnosed my type of hernia for starters. I was never told of the so called findings until I met with my primary, after my repair surgery.

  • An MRI scan is the king of scans and will show everything including lung disease. It's much better than the usual copd tests such as sprirometry. It looks like it has been picked up very early so in that sense you are lucky as you have plenty of warning.

  • It's not the tests listed as a required confirmanation from what I've read.

  • An MRI scan is not routinely done to test for copd/emphysema and therefore it wouldn't be listed. However it does show everything going on in your body and this was obviously picked up by chance.

    It's your choice whether to believe it or not of course!

  • That's what I want to know too. Confused, looking for answers to that.

  • I'm not sick, out of breath or do I have symptoms that could be considered apart of either condition. Basically I don't fit it. Other than occasional high blood pressure results in the past. Test came out good this time for blood pressure readings.

  • Hi.about 3yrs after i wiz diagnosed i ended up in hospital wiv a chest infection that wouldnt shift.up til then my life didnt change 2 yrs later i cant walk many steps wivout short of breath + lot mor poorly.15hrs oxygen a night so lets hope ur symptons take time 2 overwhelm u as i now fight 4 half healthy life x its a struggle x i wish u th best + send luv x take care x belzy x🖤

  • Due to the first misdiagnosed condition, husband and I feel confident to challenge the diagnosis. Thank you for your encouraging kind words.

  • We feel a quack doctor treated me, I remember saying that too lol

  • In the early stages you may not notice symptoms, that is why it is often quite advanced before it is diagnosed. Having quit smoking, and if it as mild as it seems it maybe, you may never progress to the point where it affects your quality of life.

  • Just be aware that if the actual diagnosis is emphysema you won't have the kind of symptoms most people expect with "COPD".

    Your lungs will sound clear, you won't wheeze or cough up gunk (unless you have an acute infection)

    Until the lungs are badly damaged so that you become breathless on exertion you won't know you have it. It is important that you find out if you have so that you can take steps to keep as healthy as possible

    Good luck, stop smoking!! X

  • I was diagnosed with mild COPD in March after having had an X-ray and spirometry test to determine the cause of a nasty chest infection. I too went into denial and found the whole diagnosis really depressing especially as I stopped smoking over 20 years ago. I'm a fit and active 58 year old who thankfully is showing no sign of the symptoms experienced by many on this site. I do have the brown preventative inhaler which I take twice a day and a blue one which I'be only used a couple of times but to be honest I think it was more to do with the change in weather. I just have to accept that I have COPD, thankfully it sounds as if mine was also caught in good time but I have an obstinate determination that I am not going to let this awful disease determine who I am and keep it at bay for as long as I can. Hopefully we continue to remain symptom free for many years to come.

  • I have 1 lung and was given the diagnosis of COPD which was made to sound like a death sentence and my clinic nurse said she thought I just had bad Asthma, well as I don't feel any different from what I have for the past few years I am as confused as you .... !

  • Mine was noticed on a ER chest x-ray due to palpitations, showed hyperinflation which is a sign of asthma or emphysema and normal in some tall skinny folk. I got a copy of my x-ray from the hospital records dept, sure enough it was there impression: Emphysema. I even spoke to the hospital radiologist who compared the x-ray to previous ones and showed me. I was referred by my family doctor to a pulmonary doctor and as mentioned above my PFT was normal but my CT did show emphysema. I'm no doctor but yes you can have it in the early stages and never know

  • Hi I was diagnosed with COPD in March from xray and spiromentary I had never smoked had mine done because of having cough for long time I was not convinced and felt very stressed about it all. I have had a cough this time of year for years but with no other symtoms. I had a chest infection in June and saw a different doctor and when she listen to my chest which neither of the other 2 GPs I saw did she said you sound asthmatic and looking at my spirometary test lot of my readings were normal and has since told me I do not have COPD but asthma I do a lot of walking up hills and never got out of breath which always puzzled me. So its worth getting a second opinion good luck

  • The nurse I saw in March said I was borderline mild COPD, the doctor mentioned adult asthma and COPD. I've just come back from a weeks walking holiday in Northumberland averaging between 5 and 6 hours walking per day with absolutely no problems. I'm always out walking at home and my social life usually revolves dancing all night to Northern Soul. Don't know if I'm deluding myself but will be seeking a second opinion on my diagnosis. If it remains COPD I'll just have to get on with it and be grateful its not affecting my lifestyle.

  • Super to hear! I have the same situation, knock on wood! My husband says he doesn't hear a thing that would concern him when I breathe. I'm always out with my husband or sister doing errands for most of the day it seems. I'm never out of breath, I don't really think about it. I'm seeking a second opinion too. Good luck and easy breathing....

  • I had and mri scan for a possible heart attack, and found out that the hospital had diagnosed me by my gp. Yet I still have not heard from my gp regarding the evidence for the diagnosis or treatment. It's not even listed in my medical file.

  • Joy to you. Keep doing whatever is keeping you healthy.

  • Thanks for the replies, I'm very new to these conditions and the whole nine yards. I've been talking to my doctor about a reavaluation, and or best treatment for me. Funny thing is, my copd diagnosis wasn't even listed in my file. What's going on here I wonder??

  • It's getting crazier as each day passes. My gp was suppose to call me yesterday, to confirm where my new pulmonary doctor is located. Yet I haven't heard a thing. My husband is getting upset . Certainly she would be on top of this?

  • I would guess you have been diagnosed in the very early stages which is good obviously - I was similar some 10 years ago and thanks to ED I am coping quite well hope this helps

  • Hi,

    Just to let you know, I had an MRI last year, and absolutely NO emphysema showed up on mine, yet they say I have it. Go figure that one. Did you have an MRI with or without contrast?

  • Lol good lord! I'm not sure if it was contrast or not . Well now I'm really confused!

  • With contrast you get some stuff in your vein beforehand. I know, I stay confused with this mess. Numbers, scans, x-rays.....ugh!!!!!!

  • I hear you.. nope no needles were used

  • So you had an MRI on your tummy? Mine was of my spine. You'd think they would see everything this way, but apparently not. ??

  • It was my chest, I thought I was having a heart attack.

  • G'day good you have stopped the fags. You and hubby probably already thought it....but get a second opinion....and go to the doctor you trust. Good luck, stay healthy and I pray you don't have this bloody thing called copd. Best of health to you and yours.


  • This is time to take action , I ignored it , thought I just get bit breathless now and then , I continued to smoke and didn't look after myself and as I was warned it does get worse . It wasn't till I was taking continual infections I paid attention. If get the chance do lung rehab do it , if smoke stop , go for walks fresh air , I've ended up steroids all the time and oxygen when moving around and other medication , but we can slow down this illness , improve your health if you act now , I stopped smoking 3 years ago an therehas been a great improvement as regards infections and trips to a&e no longer happen . It doesn't need go go this way you can have a good life and keep this illness manageable. I just wish I'd acted sooner when told like yourself early , I wish you well , don't be frightened of this illness you can reduce the progress and have a good and long life take care

  • Word to the wise, take care of your health. Get your flu shot, get a pneumonia vaccine and watch out for mold. I was diagnosed in 2000 with very mild copd, but in 2010 I had a lung infection caused by mold and later the same year, developed pneumonia because of my lungs weakened condition. That put my lungs into the severe copd area, and I went from being able to work and walk 10 to 12 miles a day to not being able to walk a block and not being able to work. Even the slighted chest cold means a trip to the doctor's office, and even the slightest chest cold makes thing worse. So please take care of your health.

  • Hello. Copd and breathing problems can creep up unoticed. The only way you will know where you are is to get some lung function tests to measure against. So talk to your gp. Best of luck

  • I seriously doubt I have it to begin with. The same doctor diagnosed me with a kind of hernia I didn't have. Malpractice right there. His mistake could of cost me my life. My lower intestine was laying on my heart. So I'm questioning the entire medical file on me at that hospital. I had an mri earlier that year, and they found nothing and sent me home. My doctor obvious doesn't think it's serious, or credible, I still haven't heard from her.

  • The moment I heard the news, I stopped smoking that day, I quit for nine monts. I wanted to be safe not sorry. Just recently did I fall off the horse. I have now been smoke free, for two weeks now. Even if I do I'm a fighter and that's what it will take to beat it. Yet I still have no symptoms or evidence to believe it as of yet.

  • I'm valuing off a new system, I've never felt better. Time will tell I guess.

  • I was having a CT scan for gallstones. They found mild emphysematous changes. That was last fall, I have no shortness of breath, no cough, no wheeze, ex-smoker on and off for many years. A MRI orCT scans are two of the very best tests to validate emphysema or even damage from chronic bronchitis, than any other tests.And, find them early!! These tests are looked at by a doctor of radiology, they are pretty darn good at it. I, myself am thankful they found it early, so that I know, and can do everything I can to stay healthy. The wonderful people on this site are very wise and I enjoy them, immensely. They can teach you, alot.

    Take care,


  • Oh I've thought ahead just in case I was wrong, I don't take chances with my health eating much better, I'm managing my stress level and getting plenty of sleep.

  • I found this on a forum online..Drs. answer questions for you: For money. :o

    I suppose if they can't find cancer, they can't see emphysema or other stuff? Just thought I'd share.

    I have had chest xray and throastic spine MRI with no contrast. I have this back pain in my upper back that comes and goes. If I had lung cancer would they have saw anything?

    NO: To assess lungs for masses, cancerous or not, or any other lung problem, need cat scan thorax.

  • Thanks for your reply, good to know!!! So how did this doctor credibly diagnose me with copd then?

  • That is a very good question. I'd be finding out what in the world is going on.

    Good luck!

  • I sure am now, thanks again!

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