I am a teacher in Korea and we have to have a medical exam. One of the things they do is a chest x-ray. I did not find out directly from a doctor, but the report they gave my boss apparently said I have emphysema. According to my boss they said it was nothing to worry about.
But everything I've read said I should be worried and I'm kind of freaking out a little over it. I won't have health insurance for another month to do a follow up on it.
I have a few questions. 1. how reliable would an x-ray be in making a diagnosis? I've read different things. 2. Would they really tell me it was nothing to worry about? If it was really bad, I would not have allowed me to teach, because it would be a drain on Korea healthcare.
2. Can it be something else? I was in an accident 5 years ago and had damage to my chest, a lung collapsed. Could that be mistaken on the xray for emphysema?
3. I am getting married soon. I'm not sure what is going on with it. How long will I live if I do have it? I've Googled it and the life expectancy is all over the place... some say you can live a normal life to old age others say 4 or 5 years.
any advice you can give would be most appreciated.
I would like to add, I stopped smoking back in 1999 and I an 41 years old. I exercise a lot (ardio, core, yoga) and walk to and from work (30 minutes each way) everyday. I don't feel out of breath or winded from walking.
In other words, they are saying you have mild COPD. When my father when for a CT scan (he had stomach cancer) the results mentioned dmild COPD, it was a surprise.
I believe the only way the X-Ray would show it is if your lungs are hyper inflated with barreling of the chest. Only a CT scan can be sure.
Since you have no symptoms it is entirely possible that the diagnoses is wrong. However, if you want to be sure, then visit a pulmonologist to get tested. There is, however, a simple test you can do yourself. Get a peak flow meter. These are inexpensive and can be found on the internet, but I don't know if you can get one in Korea. I uses one made by "Assess." You blow into it and it tells you how you score compared to norms of men your age and height. Because I have emphysema I have one of these meters. Most people with lung problems use them.
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