After quitting smoking, what problems did you have?

Hello everyone, I only got a few answers last time, but tonight I am scared again, I smoked for one and a half years, quit over two years ago. Oddly I feel short of breath almost constantly, occasionally I feel better but never able to take a deep full breath, almost as though I am having to push harder to get air in and out of my lungs. However, I still seem to be functioning ok, even though it doesn't feel like it, I am able to run for long distances and lift weights if I breathe a certain way. I ran for three miles yesterday, and once I began breathing in the cold air I swear I could taste tobacco in the lower part of my throat, almost as if the cigarette tar is being forced out by my lungs and has become stuck. I can only taste tar/ tobacco if I breathe in through my mouth, and HARD out through my nose, but it is so distinguishable as that same taste. When I am at rest such as now, I cannot breathe in small breaths like I could before, I sometimes have to gasp or take yawns [which aren't from tiredness, feels like my body is doing it because it senses it isn't getting enough air]. I don't really cough up anything or cough at all, but when I run I find myself bringing up pleghmy type goo which I have to spit out. If I stop and then try to cough it out I end up heaving and am almost sick. When I bend down to do up my shoe laces my nose and head feel like they're cut off from oxygen, like my lungs are swollen up and have literally no air going into them. I would like to hear from anyone with knowledge of smoking and what the lungs do after quitting, because although I know people who have quit and gotten better, I seem to be getting worse with the constant tight chestedness. My GP has given me a brown steroid inhaler and a small blue ventolin one, but the blue one only has effect if I come back from running and feel my chest go tight [this is a completely different feeling, this feels like the top of my lungs are a very thin tube, like a straw] it calms that feeling down a bit [like in asthma attacks] but it does not help the other constant feeling. Sorry to post again but my GP is useless and doesn't understand how scary it is and it has gotten worse over time hence my worry of do I have an undiagnosed diseased or are my lungs trying to clean themselves and just taking their sweet time over it? Thanks to everyone here!

5 Replies

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  • I had no problems as such after giving up smoking, life got very healthy. (smoked for 50 years)

    But it sounds like you have the same condition as me. COPD.

    If you haven't already, go have a CT scan of your lungs.

    That will tell you exactly where you are.

    Being over weight or a heavy drinker can also have an effect on your lungs.

    But I would have the CT scan and take it from there. Good luck.

  • Do you have COPD? If so I think you need to ask for a referral to see a respiratory consultant so you can discuss your fears and take advice. Also, I would ask about a Spiriva inhaler, the one that is designed for use with COPD as what you describe about shallower breathing, the gasp/yawns, etc. is how I felt before Spiriva was prescribed for me. Good luck.

  • I only developed COPD symptoms after I stopped smoking.

    I can only support what everyone else says about seeing a specialist. I too have spiriva and find it great.

    I go to the gym and can use the treadmill for long spells, but can still get out of breath climbing stairs.

  • I only developed COPD symptoms after I stopped smoking as well.Damn annoying . I could cut hedges, mow the lawn and even do amateur surfing when I as smoking. About 2 months after giving up I found I couldn't walk 100 yards without gasping for breath. I thought it may be my lungs clearing but sad to say I was diagnosed with COPD.

  • It was 2 months for me too Puff. My GP told me that it is very common, more often in women though. They don't tell people as it might put people off giving up smoking.

    Of course, the damage is still being done, it just doesn't show as smoking keeps the aiways open better than any inhaler lol.

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