Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Expert Forum
Can I live a normal life span
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Can I live a normal life span

Hello, I was recently diagnosed with moderate to severe emphysema. I had quit smoking a year and a half prior to this diagnosis.

I will be 65 yrs. old this month. I am active and I am trying to keep a positive attitude.  I'm hoping with proper diet, exercise and medication I can live a normal life span.  My question is:....Can I expect to live a normal life span?
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Whether or not you can anticipate a normal life span depends on the current status of your lungs; that is, 1) how much damage your lungs have sustained and 2) how much pulmonary reserve do you have left.  This is best determined by spirometry, followed by a discussion with your doctor about the disease severity based on the objective evidence of the spirometric results, including an estimate of your lung age.  That is the age of the average person who has a forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) equal to the individual in question, which is you.  If your FEV1, by spirometry, is equal to the average FEV1 of a man your size, at age 75, then 75 would be your lung age.  You could then compare that age to the average life expectancy of your family members.

It is extremely important that you continue to keep a positive attitude and adhere to a proper diet, medicines and a regular exercise program.  Whatever your life expectancy is at this moment, I can guarantee you that it will be significantly increased by adherence to the preceding.  In addition, however many years you may live, the quality of life during those years will be greatly enhanced by your commitment to life.

Whatever you do, you must never smoke even one cigarette, again.

Good luck.
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