Confused

Would being sick and having a sinus infection affect results if a pulmonary function test?

I have suffered from asthma since childhood which has been poorly managed with no medications for a very long time and never increasing them once I was out on them.

I had my first test last week as for 2 years I have been saying I can not breath as well as normal but only during activities generally however I have had sinus problems that required 2 surgeries and have recently found out that my sinus problems are back.

I don't know much about this test but I hard to redo things multiple times as I was apparently not breathing correctly, I did not fair well on the initial readings however when they lgave me my ventolin I improved by 15% but they have still diagnosed me with moderatly severe obstructive airway disease with reversible airway component.

I'm not even sure what that means.-

All my dr said was you have 77 year old lungs and now COPD, I'm very scared I have 4 young children and do not at all understand this.

I do my spitomety here at home and I generally hit normal ranges there are times I don't but most the time I can.

I guess I'm looking for insight and to know if anything affects this and if this test should be the sole test done to diagnosis someone with this disease

Thank you in advance for any help

18 Replies

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  • Hi, this is jensmom, I'm sorry I didn't answer, I haven't been on here much. Tough time right now. But no, there are other tests, I'm sure they have told you your options. I have severe copd I'm only 54 but I smoked. In not sure what that reverse thing is about. Asthma can be really bad, I would get a second opinion maybe from an ent Dr. Before you get too upset. I know I'm not much help. I hope it turns out better for you

  • Thank you. He actually did nit give me any other options stated this PFT was all they needed to confirm it but given my asthma as well as I'm anemic I found it hard to believe this was all the testing needed to confirm.

    One question my results state mine is reversible, I don't know enough about COPD but would that be reversible up to a point or no?

    Also I pray everything works out for you, smoking or not no one deserves to have to live breathless and in pain. I pray somehow they find something to cure this disease, reading about it makes me very sad anyone has to feel the way this makes one feel.

  • I'm not aware of any way to reverse this, it only progresses. You can slow it down a lot by following wht the dr. Says and using your meds properly, that's all I know. I hope yours can be reversed, this disease eats your life, slowly. In not getting transplant. I'm gonna live and when it's my time, I'll go. I wish all of us could afford the stem cell treatment, I would do it. Can't hurt.

  • I was told its not reverseable and the damage is done. If u smoke the damage stops and if u exercise you can live a long life. My Dr told me since I quit the damage wont get much worse and I may not ever have to be on oxygn. I was diagnosed mild. I havent smoked for 45 days and feel great other than a cold which set me back. I have aittle asthma too and use an inhaler occasionally.

  • That's great! I have had asthma since I was young never had a pulmonary doctor for it, it has been under control my entire life with advair and a ventilin rescue inhaler.

    My states reversible, they gave me the inhaler at one point during the test to use and I improved by 15% which made it reversible I guess.

    I'm still confused by this diagnosis as I have not had anything chronic as fat as pneumonia or bronchitis in the past just flare ups from asthma every now and then generally allergy related and I have sinus infections a lot but my sinuses are clogged per the ENT so it's surgery again or I deal with it.

    Just seems odd that I get diagnosed soley on a PFT everything I have read states you need more than that and nothing more has been done.

    I'm glad your is going well, I'll pray it stays that way! Good Luck!

  • That's fantastic! It's nice to hear good, positive news. Keep up the fight, it's worth winning. It gives me hope for myself

  • Hi Kjfreeheitkamp:

    I know that when I have sinus infection and am sick I don't do as well on those breathing test, but they do let the doctor know how bad it really is. Are you on an anitbotic for the sinus infection? Doctor did recommend doing a sinus wash with AYR Nasal Mist saline, or with NeilMed wash, I like the AYR better. It has helped me stay clear when I do them.

    Have you had a Chest x-ray or scan done? How is your heart doing as asthma and copd can effect the heart also.

    Keep us posted

  • I have had this sinus infection since August, I was not put on anything until his assistant was going over my chart this past Wednesday as they sent me for an ultrasound to check arteries because I have been getting numb cold like toes on my right foot, on,y the 2nd and 3rd toes more the 2nd. That was clear however she noticed I was never treated for the sinsus infection so she put me on Augmentin, this is only my second day on that so I haven't noticed a great difference yet.

    I did do sinus rinses nit that day as I was instructed to do nothing with anything as far as my breathing including Meds and rinses, so I did not the day of testing.

    This was my first test, I had never had one done before ever even with asthma, I now wish I knew about this so I had some type of baseline before this.

    He has not done any other testing at all he hasn't even listened to me, thus is a family doctor that I have actually only seen now for a maybe 4 years as mine retired so we had to go with someone new. I was actually quite surprised because I had never been for visits to a doctor befor this one where they didn't listen to you and give you a once over, I believe he has listened to me once a few years back I developed mono, Epstein Barr and pneumonia and pretty much couldn't function normal anymore my energy levels were drained and never bounced back. That is the only time he's ever listened to my lungs.

    That time I was sent to an infectious disease dr who did a thorough check and really didn't find a lot except that the side effects of that cluster can be long lasting for some people which apparently was the case with me as I never really bounced back, I have had little energy since then. I forgot they also sent me to a kidney specialist right after the infectious disease dr and he thought possibly fibromyalgia unfortunately I was never able to go back and see him as there was a seperation with Anthem and that hospital.

    I have had blood pressure problems for the past few years as well however he said that was one of my Meds which I know it does make it to elevate but mine has got to extreme levels 229/182 I believe is the highest so far, he has switched Meds for that many many times, I am now on a beta blocker in the am and a calcium blocker in the pm which both depress your resispitory system, as well I'm on Xanex which does the same thing.

    My breathing issues stated very close to the adding of the beta blocker but he tells me it's not that. I'm so confused with all of this as I've been to so many dry lately with so many tests and none have stated anything with me sounding back other than the sinuses being clogged again.

    Since he told me that I have COPD, things are worse, I tend to panic and then I get my heart racing which scares me. I have young children so thus entire thing is very scary for me. I'm just beside myself and unsure what to do or where to turn now.

    Also I forgot to mention along with being asthmatic, I am anemic. I'm not sure if that matters with this test but the same type of things happen as far as the exchange of c02 and 02 as it does with COPD.

    I guess I'm just wondering if you can diagnose this based solely on the PFT and no other testing.

    Thank you for any help. I decided to turn here as everything I was reading online was telling me I'm dying so I decided I better get away from that mess.

  • First off go see a Pulmonary doctor, they will rule in or rule out asthma, or copd. Also will do all the tests needed and get you on a treatment plan. Find yourself a new PC quickly one that is going to take good care of you and will listen to the lungs every time you see them. You are so right Beta blockers do effect your asthma, they make it worst and you will wheeze more on them. It's not recommended that asthma patients take a beta blocker. Your BP is way to high, be care full you don't have a stroke. Being anemic will also make your breathing worst. PFT only tells the doctor how your breathing is at that time. You also need to see cardio(heart doc) to make sure it's not your heart causing the BP to go so high, Your heart rate will go up when you are having breathing problems, just don't let it go over 100, if it does go to the ER as you could end up with a blood clot in the lungs. Been there and done that, very painful.

    As for your sinuses you may need to have allergy testing done, this will tell you if it is allergies causing all these infections.

    Just hang in there all of us here will help you out as much as we can.

  • Thank you so much, I have been very worried about my heart with whatever is going on. You've been great help.

  • My Pulmonary doctor has all ways told me Do Not take the PFT testing if your sick . It can and will have different results.

  • That's what I wondered. I was so confused I went out and bought a peak flow meter to test myself and while I can not always get to the "normal range" most of the time I can that's why I'm confused with this plus the fact no other testing was done at all.

  • Hi. I do t know what to say either. Except talk to another doctor! I know when you smoke that when your young you can have older lungs. But you dont smoke. Doesnt make sence to me. Are you around people that smoke? Oh and im glad you have s reversible airway component. I dont see how. Because nothing is reversible for copd. Good luck!

  • That was confusing for me as well. I wish I could upload my results to show. But the exact wording at the end of the report is " Moderatly Severe obstructive airway disease with reversible airway component"

    He called me in said I had COPD and my lungs were 77 year old lungs and I'm not that old, it's a shame. I must admit I was aggravated at the way he said it and really offered me no explanation.

    I have once had walking pneumonia and a few times had bronchitis in my life, never been told anything about my asthma being bad or not in control and always states my lungs are clear on nearly every report from every dr except the few times I actually had something.

    The one thing that concerns me is I was told years ago I a a small spot on my lower left lobe that was scar tissue from pneumonia, my mind constantly goes back to that doctor saying that and I wonder if he was correct. I trusted his word as he was an infectious disease doctor and a very good and detailed but that is in the back of my mind now.

    Also I did smoke socially years back and I grew up around smoke I don't know how much impact that has but I'm sure it's not good.

  • I'm not around anyone who smokes either not in a regular basis. I missed that one earlier.

  • It seems odd how they age lungs ,I know of people in their seventies that would put many a youngster to shame x

  • Very true

  • You asked would being sick and having a sinus infection affect your pulmonary function test, would you believe I went through the same thing and when my pulmonary doctor requested the results from the hospital he said they should not have performed the test if I was sick. May I suggest that once you get well perhaps you can have another one( that is if your insurance will pay for it). I recall you said that you were blowing into a spirometer well guess what, I do too but someone here on this site Hu suggested that I blow into balloons to strengthen my lungs so I do both of them, and it works just fine with me.... good luck peace and blessings keep me up to date whenever you can

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