Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Expert Forum
Do allergies cause COPD?
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Do allergies cause COPD?

Starting last fall I was short of breath. I had a complete  cardiac workup with no problems found. I had a brain MRI with and w/o contrast. Along with a small lesion, they found I had sinus issues. I was sent to an ENT Specialist, who put me on prednisone and an antibiotic for 30days. I still had the chronic runny nose, dripping, so was sent for a CT of my sinus'. my sinus are almost shut down, and I have a severe deviated septum. I will have surgery in August. Since my runny nose issues didn't go away, I just had allergy testing last Thurs. Out of the 44 things they tested me for, I was allergic to 22 of them. My lifestyle of farming, raising cattle and horses, and being outdoors, I now find I have been allergic to most things I have been **** all of my life. Before the allergy testing, they did a spirometry test. The results were awful. I am 60yrs old, my lung age is 76.  Can the allergies I have been exposed to all of my adult life have cause COPD? I was not aware that these would cause breathing issues and lung damage, as well as just being a nuisance. I have smoked off and on since I was 24, with several years of not smoking at all. I now find climbing stairs leaves me SOB, and an effort to exercise does the same. I have other health issues: type 2 diabetes, fibromyalgia, degenerative osteo-arthritis. Can I do anything to decrease my lung age? What does this mean for me as I grow older. My ENT said he would address this issue, and repeat the Spirometry test after my surgery in August. Should I wait this long? Please, any informatin you can give me will be more than welcome. I am very concerned about this issue, as I am a widow, and am my only finincial support, and have to work. Thank you, sorry this is so long..Maggie
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The information you've provided suggests serious sinus disease and a significantly deviated nasal septum. Surgery for both should help.

Positive skin tests can confirm suspicions about specific allergens but one can have positive tests, but no resulting medical problems from the allergy.

The spirometry should be repeated, before and after using a bronchodilator, once you have recovered from the sinus/nasal surgery.

If you prove to have COPD, as suggested by the "awful results" it would be primarily secondary to smoking, with possibly an asthma component from the chronic exposure to so many allergens on the farm.  Be it COPD or asthma, it is highly likely that your breathing will improve with the prescription of a number of respiratory drugs, including bronchodilators and probably also an inhaled steroids.  If you combine this with smoking cessation and a markedly reduced exposure to the substances found on the farm, to which you are allergic, you may experience a significant improvement in your breathing and this may be accompanied by a reduction in your lung age.  If your financial situation demands that you continue to work on the farm, ask your doctor to prescribe an effective mask, to be worn all the time when you are outdoors.  There are many types of masks and respirators and your doctor may want to contact a physician or industrial hygienist in the department of Occupational Medicine at the nearest academic medical center.  If none is nearby, he should call the Environmental Medicine Division at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center, in Denver.  

Another option would be for your doctor to refer you to National Jewish for a complete Environmental Medicine evaluation.
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Thank you so much for your response. I have sinus surgery, and correction of the deviated septum scheduled for August. I spoke with my ENT's nursing assistant, and the will repeat the Spirometry testing after I heal from the surgery.,then see where we go from there.
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