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British Lung Foundation
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Normal spirometry but COPD?

Hi all,

I posted about an ongoing cough I've had a while ago (background here: healthunlocked.com/blf/post...

My cough started more or less mid-December(ish), around 20th Dec, and while it has improved, it still hasn’t disappeared. I get a very tickly throat with a dry (although occasionally slightly productive) cough that can be wheezy, especially at night and when I wake up in the morning. I can go the whole day without coughing or wheezing.

I’ve had an x ray, which came back normal and yesterday I did a spirometry, which was also normal (the numbers were 90, 93 and 79 for the one where normal is above 70). I had a CT scan done on my lungs three years ago, which was also normal.

I’m not sure what to do now, does anyone have any ideas? The nurse that did the spirometry wasn't sure what to suggest. My GP said coughs can take 8 weeks to clear and I could have post-nasal drip.

But is it possible to have a normal spirometry but still have COPD? Should I go back to my GP and push for another CT scan? Or is it possible that anxiety has prolonged my recovery from simple bronchitis?

Any help appreciated!

3 Replies

My doctor asked me, when I said are you sure it's COPD, do you smoke? Have you got a cough? Have you had it long? To all of which i answered YES. Her reply was then you have COPD:)

I must qualify this answer because all my tests had come back positive for lung damage:) previously but I was in a particularly strong denial phase at that time and felt great having just returned from the UK's clean air:)

I suggest that a CT scan may give an answer but really I do not know much more than you. All I can say is that if it does turn out to be COPD then do not wait get treatment early. But whatever do not panic

I Hope it turns out to nothing more than a persistent cough with no damage to the lungs and you have my best wishes for a speedy resolution.


1 like

COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease so If you don’t have any obstruction I don't think it would be COPD but then we are not doctors nor do we have the complete results of your spirometry. Anxiety can definitely effect your breathing but if you would feel better with another scan then maybe you should discuss it with your doctor. Don't forget CT scans expose you to pretty high doses of radiation so it is an indispensable tool when needed but can expose you to radiation when it may not be necessary. Your doctor should be the one to provide you with the information for you to make the decision.


Thank you for your best wishes and input.

Guess I will have to go back to my GP and discuss next steps.


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