Greetings. I'm 39 and developed symptoms at 31 of tightness in the chest and inability to get a full breath in my left lung (from lots and lots of smoke inhalation). Got confirmation this week via lung xray of mild COPD which confirms 2006 and 2007 spirometry diagnosis. I've been living with it for seven years already hoping it really wasn't COPD. Well it is. It's mild COPD and I swim all the time and do yoga as well. I'm very healthy but I feel constantly for last seven years like I can't get much air in my left lung and it ***** to feel that way breath after breath.
Considering that it's termed mild, is there anything I can do going forward. I would really like to get this feeling out of my chest but realize it might be with me for life now. What's the standard treatment these days for a guy like me?
Since you have this feeling of incomplete air in the lung, you need some medication to open up your air passages or bronchioles. COPD can be treated in many ways and one has to find the best method by trial and error. One way to treat is through nebulization. In this the drug goes directly into the lungs just like inhalers. Rotacaps is another such method. You can discuss this with the asthma/COPD specialist. The medicines used can be asthalin, trebutaline, steroids, ipratropium bromide, and chromolyn sodium amongst a few options available. You will have to keep the house, bed linen etc dust free. Check for molds at home—under sink, bathroom, toilets, drains, damp wall, under carpets etc. Mold spores can make asthma worse. Special masks are available in the market to take care of dust and pollens. HEPPA filters can be installed at home to take care of the allergens.
Other than this you are doing good by incorporating yoga and swimming in your daily life. Take care!
Thank you so much for the response. I'm sure all of this will come up when I see the specialist, but that won't be until end of January at the earliest. My follow up with the PA isn't until after Xmas. If not too much trouble may I ask you a couple questions as my mind is racing with fear and anxiety and a host of other emotions most of the day.
They say COPD is progressive. What does this mean for me being so young? I've had this feeling of breathlessness for seven years already. Also, why does it hurt around the "dead" area? I read lungs have no nerves. The biggest thing I'm facing right now is the fear of 60 more years with lung damage that could get worse.
Yes, COPD is a progressive disorder, if not taken care of. If treated properly, the doctors can halt or delay the progression from stage 1 to 2 to 3 to 4. Many people lead a comfortable life in a particular stage for years.
The pain you feel is due to hypoxemia (or low oxygen). Lungs are supplied by sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves which carry the sensation of pain when the oxygen supply is low. Hoe this answers your questions for now. A tip for you: Jot down all the symptoms, the progression of symptoms and the queries you have. You will have a short while with the specialist so go prepared for it. Take care!
Thank you for your responses Dr. Mathur. I have one final question.
My doctor's visit concerning my lungs was today but I left with more questions than answers as I didn'thave time to think. She said the x-rays showed hyper inflation. She said it poses no health risk at this time and I am in no need of treatment for this. All that is good stuff.
What I am concerned about is what do I do now? Is there anything I can and should do? Can hyperinflation correct itself? So far I exercise like crazy with swimming and yoga? I'm assuming studying and incorporating breathing exercises into my routine would be helpful. I certainly don't want to over react about this, but I can feel it every breath and when I twist or other movements there is a pain-like sensation in the area. I just want to make sure I am doing all the wise moves to live the best I can from here on out. Thanks for your time and patience with my queries. Happy New YEar
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