British Lung Foundation
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Hello everyone!

Hi everybody, i hope you can help.

I'm 41, asthmatic since 11 y o, and gave up moderate on/off smoking about 3 years ago. Last year I thought my asthma was "playing up" and after a review by my GP and hospital I was told I have COPD. Apparently my lung function is 50-60% and that of a 60 y o. The consultant said in a letter to my GP that I have asthma with COPD. He wrote "reversable COPD if you like" as my lung function improved from 50 to 60% after nebulising. I am in a state of shock. I have always lived actively with asthma, I have never run a marathon but a quick squirt of inhaler and I felt fine. Now though, my anxiety about this diagnosis is playing havoc with my breathing and I feel breathless and panicy (bad lungs or anxiety? who knows?). I fear for the future as I have a baby on the way and wonder whether I'm going to be able walk in 5 - 10 years? Will I need oxygen in a couple of years? Will my daughter grow up without a dad? Some evidence appears to suggest that a healthy lifestyle will halt the progress of the disease in it's tracks, and this is indeed what the asthma nurse at the GP's surgery is saying. However, other evidence explains that COPD is progressive and unpredictable, leading to disability and death. I know that I'm probably adjusting to this diagnosis but I can't seem to work out what will happen to me. Any thoughts about what the prognosis is would be greatly appreciated. Will I be around and active in 30 years or will I be struggling for breath in 3? Sorry, you can probably feel the uncertainy within this message!

Hope people are feeling well,

Backpablo xx

9 Replies

hi backpablo

i too have had asthma most of my life.i am 59 now and was told i hod copd 8 years ago.

a permanent diagnoses was made 5 years ago.

try not to panic,worry or stress about this. mine is irreversable. when i got to grips with that i found that it was easy just to take each day one at a time. worry changes nothing. of course i have bad days when i think whats the future hold ?

dust must avoided at all times.we often underestimate this.just look at the dust when you shake a towel or something in front of a lamp.its horrendous,and makes the condition worse. avoid car fumes and busy places. our biggest enemy tho is the flu or bad colds.chest infections completely lay me out.

so......there are many things you can do...and some you have no control over.

that is life in it not.?

i wish you well and hope that i may have given some hope.sorry tho....there are no fixes.

take care



Hi backpablo, first congrats on becoming a dad soon,how great is that! I'm not a doctor but I see no reason why you wont be around to see your child grow up, marry, make you a granddad! you focus on being well, get plenty of exercise,take your medication,get your flu jab every year, avoid catching germs ( build up your immune system with Echinacea or some other natural booster) and live and enjoy your life! stay positive :) Huff x


Hello reversible copd if you like was covered in this post


How sad that some respiratory consultants, gp's and nurses can't see further than giving a diagnosis and leaving us to get on with it and cope as best we can.

I'm sorry that this diagnosis has made you anxious backpablo, but rest assured you most likely have not received a death sentence :) With a healthy diet, sensible exercise and the right medication the majority of us COPD'ers go on to lead perfectly 'normal' lives, just a little more slowly that those who don't have the conditon.

Mention your anxiety to your GP and, what will probably be more helpful, do give the BLF Helpline a call on Monday. They can offer you a great deal of help and advice.

In the meantime...... take good care of yourself, you've a lot of living to do yet !! and congratulations, by the way, on the impending arrival of your little one :) x


As far as I know COPD is not progressive if someone doesn't smoke or gives it up. It's only progressive in the sense of aging, like everyone else's.


Hi Backpablo,

Being hit with a brick is how I felt when I was told I had COPD. I am going to die soon is what I thought.

I had started to feel like I was just a bit breathless when I reached the top of the stairs, in a short period of time, I was so hyperaware of my breathing, I decided that I was in the last stages of COPD and I was going to be dead very soon.

Doesnt anxiety play dreadful tricks on your breathing?!?!

COPD is said to be a progressive disease but, and the but is the really relevant part of this paragraph, not smoking is the one thing you can do that will mostly either stop or at the least really slow down any progression.

It is horrible to think that you have just been told what you are going to die of, we are too young to be told we are dying. Again, if we look after ourselves, our lung deterioration should be in line with anyone else year on year.

This is one illness where we are in charge of what is likely to happen to us. Dont smoke, eat well, exercise and 3 key ingredients and the things that we can do to stop this from progressing.

It turns out that I may or may not have early COPD, I don't yet know. But what I do know is that this is one where the Dr's can help the symptoms but we are actually pretty much in charge of what is going to happen to us.

From what I understand, there is absolutely no reason that you should not live a full and active life, we just have more reason than the next to take good care of ourselves.

Taking good care of ourselves is the best advice and who knows if decades down the line oxygen will be needed, look around you, it is the same for everyone on the planet, we just have fair warning that we do need to take seriously what everyone should be doing, eating a good diet, exercising and don't smoke.

If there is one thing I do not think COPD is, its a death sentence. It is hard to come to terms with, if you need help to do that, do so. I am still coming to terms with it but I will not let this beat me.




Hi everybody,

Wow, thanks everyone for all your support and kind thoughts. I can honestly say I feel a whole lot better, thanks.

My feeling now is that I can have a bit of control over the future. With the joy of fatherhood around the corner (thanks for the best wishes!) I suddenly found myself looking into the future and the uncertainy of COPD seriously affected my state of mind. My little girl is due to arrive in March, she has Downs Syndrome and other some related health problems and I feel as if I need to be super strong and healthy to look after my family. This diagnosis of COPD was a real blow!

It's comforting to know that I can take some control of my health (as much as one can anyway!) and try to keep things in perspective. I'm definately going to ring the BLF helpline, try to be healthy, and try to not worry. Worrying is something that I am particularly skilled at!

It's really great to know that there are people out there who care about others. Here's to keeping healthy, positive and caring. I hope you're all feeling well and looking after yourselves too.

Thank guys x


Hi Backpablo, welcome to the site. Am generally not one for directing you to other websites, but if you take a look at the NHS Choices site, it will tell you what you need to know and gives other links for extra information. You have been diagnosed fairly young and have time to make sure you make the changes in your life that will help drastically slow the effects of copd. Take it from one who knows, I was diagnosed at your age (60 now) and stupidly didn't take heed, so cannot emphasise strongly enough how important it is that you stay off the ciggies! All the best to you.


thanks libby7827, my smoking days are definately stubbed out! hope you're well, all the best


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