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British Lung Foundation
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5 weeks vaping and COPD

I was diagnosed with COPD 8 weeks ago after a shadow was found on my Lung following a chest x-ray for back pain. Up until that point I had no breathing problems. I'm 46 and had been smoking for 33 years.

I have now been smoke free for 5 weeks and during this time have had 2 chest infections, constant wheezing, coughing up phlegm. I am currently on my second course of antibiotics and steroids. I now feel ok but know that the steroids have kicked in and are masking the symptoms.

I am dreading what will happen when I stop taking the steroids in 2 days.

My doctor has referred me for a CT scan and said my symptoms are due to COPD.

My question is could my symptoms be due to my lungs clearing themselves out?

I have tried asking my GP about this and he dismisses it and keeps telling me it's all down to the COPD. I have been diagnosed with mild COPD and am scared my symptoms will not improve.

Has anyone else got a similar story?

3 Replies

Hi & welcome,

If ending the steroids causes you problems then go straight back to the GP - they can give a second dose using a "wind-down" course so each day you take one less than the previous day. It's not uncommon to need the second dose.

I'd guess there are a number of things going on, loss of nicotine will cause some short-term problems (I recently switched to decaf tea/coffee and enjoyed a week of headaches ... but it goes and I feel better for it now), lungs can actually work as designed so there is a lot of rubbish to get rid of and lastly the 2 infections is probably the same one which didn't fully clear the first time so, in short, yes, you will get a lot better!

Talk to GP about a Pulmonary Rehabilitation course local to you - this will prepare you for how to live with COPD rather than letting COPD rule your life.

Finally, WELL DONE!! Off the fags for 5 weeks is a result! Vaping is okay (nothing as good as clean fresh air) but for now it's a darn site better than tobacco smoke!

"scared my symptoms will not improve" - Dr Google will scare the hell out of you - try to avoid it (most is not true anyway), knowledge is the key, PR course, ask questions here, get to know your body and what's "normal" for you then you will quickly recognise when things aren't "normal" and deal with them.

Most of us here expect to end our days WITH COPD, not because of COPD and the quality inbetween is down to how we chose to live.

I smoked for 40 years, stopped 7 years ago and my COPD hasn't got any worse so enjoy life - it's ain't too bad really ;o)


Thanks for the reply. I asked my GP for a referral to chest consultant but he told me unless they think it's lung cancer I would have to wait 3 to 6 months for the referral. So he has referred me for a CT scan. Hopefully the shadow on my lung is nothing too serious.


I think a lot of it will be from your lungs clearing, it might take a while for your lungs to clear, if you can try and stay as active as possible I find walking helps me, it helps clear mucus of my lungs, well done with stopping smoking xx


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