Life expectancy : What is the realistic life... - COPD Friends

COPD Friends

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Life expectancy


What is the realistic life expectancy for someone with emphysema? I've heard some people can live 20+ yrs. I'm very young, 38, with stage 2 emphysema and Alpha 1. Im on tons of meds and get bronchitis a lot. I'm curious, will I die younger (in my 50s) or live a longer life with a severely decreased quality of life. I know no one can answer this definitively, I'm looking more for opinions.

5 Replies

Hi how long is a piece of string? Much depends on which stage you are diagnosed at. If at stage 3 or 4 then 20 years could be considered reasonable. But not at stage 2. I was diagnosed at the top of stage 2 9 years ago and still have the same lung function. If you lead a healthy lifestyle you could have a good quality of life for many years yet.

Whilst emphysema and copd are progressive you would be very unlucky to progress quickly and on the British Lung Foundation site (members from all round the world) many of them are in the more severe stages and have been for a long time. I don't think any of them are planning on going anywhere soon.

I think it would help you to join this site as well as you will hear lots of positive stories.

Since you are Alpha 1, I would begin looking into lung transplant options. It is best to be evaluated and followed by a transplant team while you can still pass the tests to qualify. Your wait may be many years, since your condition may be controlled by medications. However, you will be ready if you enter a rapid decline. I was stage 2 when diagnosed in December 2011, was told I had three to five years and then (5 years almost to the day) had my lung transplant 01/01/2017 after a rapid decline due to several incidences of pneumothorax.

I for one do not look into the life expectancy of anything I don't even Google it because you'll get 1,000,001 answered. Been dealing with it , for over 10 years now yes it has gotten worse . I checked in the lung transplant but because I have a bad heart I had a quad bypass in 2000 I do not qualify morning and I do my best to take things day by day . For the last 2 1/2 years died twice and EMTs were able to revive me at my house and the blue team at the hospital . I did my best not to get down even though I do at times . When I was diagnosed and they told me I had no reserve at all that's how bad my lungs are I asked him how long do I have did not answer . So we're all gonna die one day the problem with emphysema is that yeah we're gonna die but it's the quality of life it's going to suffer some of missed weddings graduations etc. but when it comes right down to it I think God that I'm still breathing I thank God that I'm looking at Daisy's rather than pushing them up thank God that I'm on this side of the dirt . So we may have a difficult time what's the option . I'm not crazy again about finding life expectancy because if they say average is 20 years well you know a lot went beyond 20 and a lot fell within the first five years. I hope this is helped take care God chin up.

well said

Hi . We must keep active and positive. Is the only way we can survive. Take our medication . And look after ourselves. I’m 54 and I ask the same question. I feel down and sometimes lonely. I work . Get lots of exercise . Go to the gym . Try to forget what I have . Take care x

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