COPD, QUIT SMOKING, INHALERS

Hi. I have been diagnosed with COPD after a shadow was found on my Lung from a routine xray for a back problem.

I am 46 and up until the COPD diagnosis I was a smoker for 33 years and had no breathing problems. I decided to quit smoking and began vaping 6 weeks ago.

This is when the problems started. I now am constantly wheezing and coughing up phlegm all the time.

I have 2 inhalers. One I take every morning (white and green) and the other a blue inhaler. I was told by my doctor to only take blue inhaler a maximum of 4 times, 8 puffs a day. But this simply is not clearing the wheezing of phlegm

I also started taking a salt pipe which helped but I stopped as I was coughing up salt and worried that the salt is dangerous for my lungs.

My questions are

1: are my symptoms down soley to COPD or because I have quit for 6 weeks and my lungs are clearing.

2: can I take my blue inhaler more than 4 times a day

3: is coughing up salt from the salt pipe normal

Thanks in advance

17 Replies

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  • It's probably because you have stopped smoking 6 weeks ago well done in that ....stopping. Your body is getting rid of excess from years of smoking ..

    I can't answer for the salt pipe as I don't use one...i use a vape and have done for 11 months since choosing not to smoke...when I was smoking I coughed with gunk....it stopped for me about 3 months after giving up ....but if you feel unwell with it speak to your GP always take your meds as prescribed you don't want to overdose on them theres also a class called pulmonary rehabilitation that you can attend with gp referral where your are given exercises breathing techniques to try and advice on meds diet exercise and lung conditions hope that helps you some xx Angie

  • Thanks Angie. I'm just concerned that the wheezing and phlegm is COPD and I won't get any better.

  • It's part of the condition sometimes. we are unique ...i don't cough or get breathless and I don't have gunk either...but others will...it can also indicate a chest infection so maybr speak to your doc have you had a spirometer test yet or ct scan x

  • I have just finished a course of steroids and Antibiotics. Steroids worked a miracle but I'm back to square one again. I've had spirometry test and diagnosed as mild COPD but I don't trust my GP. Asked to be referred to specialist but GP insists they won't see me with my symptoms and he can manage me. I am waiting for hospital letter for CT scan

  • I know it's not always possible but is there another gp you can see ...or maybe change practise the words I don't trust my GP ring it's time for a change and maybe for the better by the sound of it ..i haven't ever seen a specialist since diagnosis but my GP practise is provides all the service and advice I need I'm stage 3 copd ...xxx but maybe look for a change if not happy hope you get some results from it all xx

  • I am moving soon so will change doctors. I have been told my COPD is mild. I don't feel my symptoms are mild. My life is being greatly affected and would like to know the stage.

  • I think if you have had a chest infection that's bound to make you feel horrible anyway good luck with things xx

  • Hi

    COPD is a umbrella term for Chronic Bronchitis over production of mucus. and Emphysema damage to the Aveoli. You can have a element of both.

    When you initially stop smoking your body will start to clear your lungs which can take some time, drink plenty of fluids. If you have a concern about the amount of mucus discharge go back to your GP, there is medication to help. And you may need a course of antibiotics.

    You can use your Ventolin inhaler more than four times, but it is not to assist in removing phlegm. It is a reliever to open your airways when having breathing problems. If you feel the need to use it to often, you would probably benefit from a referral to a Respitory team at your local hospital.

    Salt is a natural lubricant, and will help loosen sticky mucus, so it’s natural to have a salty taste to any mucus clearance.

  • I have repeatedly asked my GP to be referred to specialist but he keeps telling me I don't need to be referred. He has diagnosed COPD from just a chest x-ray and a spirometry test done by the practice manager. I am waiting for a CT scan but once again this is at the request from my GP. I want to see a lung specialist. Surely I have a right to know wether it is bronchitis or Emphysema or both.

    Also my father was diagnosed with Asthma late in life so I'm also concerned it could be asthma. But my GP dismisses this.

  • Are GPs being told not to refer people to specialists to save the BHS money?

  • Sorry NHS lol

  • It depends on where you live and also how far advanced your copd is. I was diagnosed with mild copd and it's still virtually at the same level though it's classed as high moderate now. I have never been referred to a consultant and my surgery said that comes only when and if they can no longer handle my care.

    I don't know if it is primarily chronic bronchitis or emphysema and when I ask they just insist it's copd. I was even refused a chest x-ray on diagnosis and had to wait for 4 years before I managed to get one. I saw several doctors who got quite angry with me and insisted they knew the damage so I didn't need an x-ray. This is despite the NICE guidelines.

    As for a CT scan - well I was told no chance unless I had symptoms which weren't consistent with copd. At least yours is doing that which is more than mine would.

    Some are referred but it does seem to be a postcode lottery.

  • GPs are having to fund Consultant referrals from their own budgets. even though the hospitals they refer patients to have their own budgets from the same source, their area Clinical Commissioning Group.

  • I have copd and switched to using an ecigarrette but it made my breathing much worse. I Googled it and it is quite common, so I stopped using it.

  • Hi when you smoke the hairs on your lungs become paralysed. Now you have stopped they have come back to life and are frantically working to clear your lungs of as much accumulated gunk as possible. This is hard to live with but very positive. It can take up to around 6 months to clear them.

  • Thanks for the information.

  • I am unusual in that I cannot use Salt pipes or take saline in my nebulizer. Salt actually reduces my ability to breath. Perhaps you need to talk to your Doc or respiratory team. We are all so different and how we manage varies enormously. COPD is COPD whatever caused it and smoking anything for me is a definite no-no. Its been a long journey for me and a very enlightening one, sadly about things I can do nothing about. Best of luck.

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