British Lung Foundation
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Oxygen headaches and pain killers?

Okay so I'm a little confused with this I understand the deal with no oxygen or lack of oxygen would cause headaches but this would no doubt mean one would also be lost for breath am I correct? If this is the case then would painkillers deal with the actual headache?

Okay assuming I'm correct then could one live with the headaches if one is not having issues breathing? I am still new to COPD and have questions in general. Currently I'm making sure that I am having plenty of liquids (mainly orange squash) still getting pressure on my chest on the one side but I can live with that as it's not actually a pain as such and just feels like I've been weight training on my chest albeit I haven't

I'm still trying to figure out what the heartburn is all about I mean I suffer with heartburn any way and can only attribute it to the orange squash. I'm drinking orange squash because of the vit C and because last night I burnt up really quickly and thought it might have been cold or something but I'm not feeling that bad today.

6 Replies

My doctors have said nothing at all about anything to me. I am not even on ANY medication lol, no oxygen no bronchodilators absolutely nothing at all. I am still waiting for a bronchoscopy (still no date for that yet either) and still waiting for a spirometric test which is on Friday.


Greets Denom

I've had a quick look through your previous posts and can't decide if you have actually been diagnosed or not, I went a long time without meds before actual diagnosis. I think this is because of two things, 1) the medical profession don't want to prescribe medicines inaccurately without a diagnosis and 2) they don't want to mask your symptoms while you are still undergoing investigation.

It was around 10 months before I was diagnosed and during that time I went for many tests and scans. Once actually diagnosed then prescribed the medicines to help, but even that took a few more months of trial and error to establish which medicines were the best suited for me personally.

What I would suggest is, make a list of all those symptoms you are experiencing and make a note of how these are affecting your every day life. Then discuss these with your consultant / gp and try to establish the way forward to getting some sort of treatment for your symptoms. Although doctors will not prescribe medicines for symptoms when the cause of those symptoms have not yet been established.

For you it could be there is more than one thing going on and so the docs no doubt are trying to glimpse the whole picture before deciding on your treatment.

Regarding your intake of nutrients a good healthy diet is going to give you ample vitamin C. Check out this page:

Its good you are taking plenty of fluids, varying your consumption of fluids may be of more help than drinking mostly orange squash, which is high in sugar and low in vit C in comaprison to other foods and juices.

Hope some of this information is of use to you.

Good wishes.


You need to discuss your headaches with your doctor. Lack of oxygen in the blood can cause headaches as can to much Co2, it very much depends on when the headaches occour. You may not be short of breath, You must ask questions of you medical team. In the mean time please phone the BFL helpline for advice.

Best wishes

Jo :-)


Thank you guys I think this more than answers my questions, I will be having a nice long chat tomorrow at my local doctors.

No Zoee I have not actually been diagnosed yet but the lung specialist at my hospital assumed I have emphysema just by the C.T scan and that was what he told me and just left me to ponder on it >.< I had no idea what it was and like most people didn't think much to it until I looked a little more into it.


CT scan usually clearly shows emphysema or no. I think you do need to get your diagnosis, maybe's and assumptions are not indicative of a real diagnosis.

Good wishes with your forthcoming doc visits.


From my understanding it would have been an infection that I got for quitting smoking which apparently is quite common, I took amoxicillin and it seems to have cleared it up.

Bronchoscopy on Tuesday and I'm a little nervous but I know it needs to be done.

I'm actually starting to think I might have something like GERD rather than emphysema but then again I just don't know and need to find out.


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