British Lung Foundation
36,502 members43,721 posts

Are emphysema and COPD the same thing?

I have recently been diagnosed with COPD, although I havent been told at what stage I am at, I am on the steroid inhaler Symbicort and at the moment i struggle as soon as i start doing anything physical. I get very tired and really start gulping for air quite quickly. I have a very dry tickly cough and i get strong pains in my chest after a severe cough. I gave up smoking on july 1st last year because i was really struggling to breath and i thought i had a smokers cough. I only went to the doctors because it wasnt really getting better. That was 2 months ago. I have only recently got the all clear for hep c(2 years ago) after 12 months of comb drug therapy. At the moment i am confused as to what i have because COPD seems to be an umbrella term for several things.

4 Replies

"...COPD seems to be an umbrella term for several things." You said it yourself.

I keep referring people to an excellent booklet that was issued by the NHS in Sheffield

There are 30 pages, but it should explain a lot of things for you.

1 like

Thanks gordon

Thats been a great help I think. I guess at the end of the day its how it affects you on a daily basis thats relevant more than what its called. Its certainly come as a bit of a shock.


As you read through more of this site you'll discover people like yourself, recently diagnosed and wondering what it's all about, through to those who have lived with the condition for many years. Much of it is down to how you manage the illness, using medication and generally using common sense in not signing up for half marathons, or giving up smoking.

There's lots of advice via the BLF, they have a good helpline with trained advisor's and nurses. There are also the Breathe Easy groups, as well as the staff of your local hospital when you go for appointments with them. Our local Breathe Easy group actually meets in the board room of the hospital.

You'll find that life in general slows down, you need to take it steady and those hospital appointments seem to take longer to come round...


Good advice from Gordon, as usual.

Welcome Soothsayer, if you read up about it, you will have a better idea what questions to ask your GP.

Lynne x


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