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British Lung Foundation
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My first post and need advice please

Hi all, I really need to know if I have COPD?

Before Christmas I had flu like symptoms and went to my GP who gave me antibiotics. Finished the course but the cough just went on and on and I finally went back and saw a locum doctor that I'd not seen before. Told him about my cough and the fact that I was "wheezy". He said I had COPD and sent me for a chest X-ray and just prescribed the blue inhaler (Salbutamol/Ventolin) and told me to make an appointment with the practice nurse to learn how to use it. Bearing in mind that at this stage I had no trouble breathing but was just exhausted from all the coughing.

Next day I saw the nurse and she did a Spyrometer test which I know I probably didn't do too well on because of all the coughing and wheezing. She gave me another course of antibiotics and also gave me Forsair saying take 2 puffs morning and evening.

I only used it a couple of times as the word "steroid" worried me. A week later, after I'd finished the antibiotics (and stopped having the odd ciggie and kept to my Vape thing that I was using mostly anyway) my cough was gone and I felt fine. No more wheezy chest and I don't and never have had noticeable breathlessness.

I had an appointment with the same nurse for my diabetic review and I told her that I didn't think I needed the Forsair and she just said to cut it down to one puff twice a day.

So here I am a couple of months later, no cough, no wheezing, no feeling that I need to use the Ventolin and haven't used the Forsair. I'm 74 and have chronic back pain but I get out walking most days and I can keep up a reasonable pace and hold a conversation without any problem.

My question is - have I got COPD? Was the locum GP too quick to make this diagnosis? If I'm not breathless does it mean I haven't got it or is it silently building up without me knowing? Should I be using the Forsair as a preventive measure or don't I really need it?

I'd be very grateful for your thoughts.

I'm also waiting for a hospital appointment for tests on a suspicious breast lump which is giving me panic attacks but that's another story.

5 Replies

Hi Corey, it seems to me like the locum was to quick to say it's COPD, I would want another spirometry test done, and examined properly. At least then you would know one way or the other. Please let us know how you get on,take care😊 Bernadette xx

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Thank you Damon - that's what I was hoping someone would say but I'm still open to any other views.

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Lease go and ask for more test,at least you will know and have peace of mind☺️ Bernadette xx


Doctors are quick to diagnose COPD for people that have a history of smoking. Here in the states if you are a long term smoker it is almost automatic. I would also think in that case they are more than likely also correct with the diagnosis. I was Rx'd copd/emphysema a few years ago, since then I have quit smoking, but at the time I really didn't get breathless unless I ran or something but was wheezy. I really wasn't surprised , after all I smoked for 40+ years. I think it is a bit naive to think there aren't consequences.

Also, I doubt using a vape is really any better for COPD as you are still sucking water and other chemicals into your lungs. I have found that colds are much easier and pass without chest problems since quitting.


I would ask for another spirometry test whilst your chest is clear. It’s the only way I think to confirm or rule out COPD or asthma. Many people had bad flu ,lingering chest infections and cough last winter and I suspect some peeps could have been misdiagnosed with one thing or another.


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