Log in
British Lung Foundation
38,364 members45,279 posts

Emphysema or pneumonia?

Hi, I was diagnosed with Copd Oct 2010. I was ill all of 2011 which I believe was untreated pneumonia. I have major Gp issues.. I finally took myself off to hospital in may this yr and was treated for the pneumonia..

My question is this, from receiving the anti-biotics until last week I haven't had to cough up any gunge in any shape or form, zilch. Even my breathing has been very good and although I do get slightly breathless when doing activities, walking and such. In general this summer has been the best I've felt in 2 yrs.

Now, I can feel myself going down again, I'm starting to cough up the gunge again which had gone since middle of may, the cough went aswell although that part hasn't started again yet but I expect it to. Is this all symptoms of Copd or has it just been pneumonia I've had all along.. Oh and I've only had 1 spiro test thing since 2010..

12 Replies

Hello Eviex

People diagnosed with COPD must look after their lungs. If there is any sign of a lung infection ie you are coughing up gunge that is discoloured or generally there is a worsening of symptoms you must not neglect this as it can cause further complications such as pneumonia if gone untreated, on top of that it could cause further lung damage.

Get your lungs checked asap - make appointment with your doc or attend walk in clinic. If there is a lung infection you will be prescribed antiobiocs and prednisolone if needed.

A;so ask gp for referral to respiratory consultant if you have never seen one so that precise lung condition can be diagnosed, in addition ask for a referral to a pulmonary rehabilitation course for the educational side of how best to manage your symptoms.

Mucus for some is an everyday symptom, for others not, a worsening of symptoms, ie bringing up mucus, when you don't normally have it could be an indication of a lung infection which should be treated asap.

1 like

Booked in for tomorrow, will raise points made but can't see my Gp doing much or referring me.. If I don't get what I want tomorrow I am changing Gp's instantly because I refuse to go through what I went through last yr.. Thankyou!


Change Dr's for sure you get what you pay for the people in the U.K. think that there Dr's calls are free there are not you all have worked your whole life for your insurance so you desevere it don't be afraid to ask questions and use there time that's what they get paid for you count and so does your health

Betsy Rose


Hi Eviex, I went through the same ordeal and I am convinced that if I had the proper treatment I wouldnt have gone down so much. I dont get fobbed off now. Demand to be referred, or treated properly.Has your surgery got a respiratory nurse? Mine has one twice a week. If so then get an appointment. You should have a yearly check up and spirometry. You should find out about your copd etc. Knowledge is a good thing, and feedback from others.Ask questions..write them down before going to the gp. Dont let gps fob you off, its your life, and if your gp is no good, then find one who is...one with a respiratory interest if you can. Good luck with the appointment, hoping to hear back from you.

1 like

Hi Ingy

There is a copd nurse at the surgery but haven't seen her in nearly 2 yrs either, I know I don't shout and scream enough, I also don't go very often as I feel its a waste of my time. I've had issues with my back and hips for over 3 yrs now and because i refuse to see his physio again he won't do anything..

I'm most certainly changing Gp's if he doesn't listen tomo and making a huge complaint..


1 like

You go for it Eviex and zap those doctors. :) x

1 like

Oh I plan to chick x


Ive only just seen this Eviex so not sure you'll read this in time. You've already had some great advice. To live with this condition none of us can afford to do nothing!! Your surgery should be calling you in for a check-up at least once a year but when I was newly dx-ed I was seeing a consultant every three months until I was stable. (I was lucky - this can be bit of postcode lottery)

The folks at BLF helpline are good to talk to for any advice and there's stuff on the BLF website. Information is power so it's good to arm yourself!

In the NICE COPD guidelines it says you can ask to see a specialist for a second opinion and with a history like yours Id have thought you are well entitled to this. It might be good idea to print off the guidelines and take them with you with the bits you want to know highlighted (they are quite long). nice.org.uk/nicemedia/live/... (sorry dont know how to get a link on here)

You dont say what medication you are on, other than the antibiotics, so you should talk through your needs with your healthcare people.

Good luck today and especially if you go for changing your GP - remember it's all meant to be about patient choice these days!! :)



Thankyou for the link, lots of info there which will be used today..

You mention 'patients choice' I have also been told 'carers' have rights too yet feel my words, health mean nothing to those it should i.e. health professionals. Wonders what they'll say when they have to care for my Autistic hyperactive 21 yr old son.

Thanks all of you, its very much appreciated!



Good luck to you Eviex and hope you get the right treatment and care for yourself and to enable you to continue to care for your son too. Hope you give those doctors hell! but I know you won't! xxxx


Well, I ended up seeing a Locum who was more interested in the phone calls and txts she were receiving on her mobile phone but I got the anti-biotics I wanted. I asked about the Spiro test and was told that I should I had to book these things myself (if i'd known that I would have done) as for my hip I've been told to expect it due to already having osteo-arthritis but that doesn't help with ESA and DLA claims does it, I did however get different pain killers.

Booked in to see new Gp next week..

Thanks all..


as far as I am aware, pneumonia can be treated effectively with antibiotics unless

it is a viral infection, medical advice will solve this problem usually although this is the cause of death in many cases depending on the age of the person concerned.

Emphysema cannot be cured as yet (the boffins are still working on it ).

All these problems effecting the LUNGS are different although the results are the

same. WE CANNOT BREATHE ....one day soon but not in our LIFETIME...CHEERS.



You may also like...