British Lung Foundation
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Husband with COPD

I have been asthmatic since I was 5, now COPD, but my husband was diagnosed after I mentioned to his doctor that his breathing often seemed 'laboured'. After a spirometry test the doctor gave a diagnosis of mild COPD and he prescribed Atrovent - to be taken as and when he needs it. The problem is that he doesn't feel he needs it at all! We had an interview with the pharmacist (apparently the government want chemists to talk to people newly on drugs for lung problems) and the chemist talked to him in detail about how to use the inhaler (I sat there grinning, he has seen me do that with two inhalers twice a day since we met). I asked if there would be any benefit to him taking the inhaler regularly and was told no, it is short acting so no point. My problem is that he never actually feels breathless, he is a big strong guy, thinks I am fussing. At the moment he has a hacking cough, but not productive. So, if he doesn't feel the need to take the inhaler - what is the answer? He has to see his doc in a couple of weeks, to see if there is any improvement, but how can he improve something he doesn't feel??????

2 Replies

If he doesn't feel the need to take it then there is no earthly reason why he should. COPD treatments are all mainly palliative ie. they do not 'cure' or permanently improve our condition. What they can do is ease our breathing for a time to a lesser or greater degree depending on the type and stage of your illness. Most people with mild COPD won't normally need any kind of inhaler or medication whatsoever unless they already have asthma.

Keep in mind that pharmacies are getting paid for any of 'consultations' they carry out and give hubby a break - I am sure he will use it soon enough if he really feels a need for it ;)

Auntymary xx


Thanks, he is nodding!!


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