I am a 32 year old female, never smoked. I had a bout of pneumonia in March, and I have had shortness of breat since then. I seemed to get better for a few weeks, but the silortness of breath returned. Chest xrays have been clear, and a ct scan done at the beginning of the year was normal, with the exception of some scarring from valley fever.
I finally was referred to a pulmonologist, who during my initial exam didn't seem concerned, but ordered a lung function test. I had that done this morning. The technician said there is evidence of emphysema. I was shocked, and I am now terrified! He mentioned that I would be tested for Alpha-1 deficiency. Can emphysema be diagnosed through lung function testing alone? Wouldn't it have shown on the chest ct I had just a few months ago?
The test still has to be reviewed by my pulmonologist, but I am so scared. I have 2 young children, and I'm afraid of what will happen if it becomes debilitating. I know I may be jumping the gun, but everything I have read so far doesn't seem to suggest this could be a false positive. Any info anyone could provide would be appreciated. I've been crying all day knowing that my life could be potentially cut short, and that I may have passed this Alpha-1 nonsense onto my children.
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