Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder Community
Non Smoker COPD
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Non Smoker COPD

I am a 52 year old school teacher and
I was diagnosed by one test at a small hospital and another test at a health fair of having COPD.  The only thing is I have never smoked even one cigarette in my life.  I have had two or more sinus infections a year, though and had pnemonia (pneumonia) 3 times and was hospitalized one time.  I cough one to two hours a day.  Usually clear sticky substances is what I cough, but it wears me out many days...just the coughing process.  I got a Vitamen B12 shot a month ago and that has helped me feel some better.  I have not been to a Lung specialist yet.  Regular Dr has me on Advair 50/100.  I am not out of breath like I was when it comes to walking a short distance.  It is just the cough that wears me out.  Any suggestions or ideas on getting this cough to let up?  Part of the time it is clearing the throat for an hour or more.  Anyone else battle with this?  
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Coughing has become part of my daily life, so much so that it seems normal for me to hack my brains out at times. First of all, I really think you should see a lung specialist as they have the training and the expertise as far as treating and diagnosing COPD goes. Have you had a full set of lung function tests done? You probably have had at least the spirometry test (you blow into a device as fast as you can after taking a deep breath). The full set involves that as well as other important tests that tells the doctor how well your lungs are functioning and where there are problems.
The pulmonologist will order a full lung function test along with other tests depending on what he or she finds on examination as well as with the function testing. Sticky mucous like you describe can be from a condition called chronic bronchitis. Of course there are other reasons for this, I am just throwing out examples. I am not a doctor so please take what I say with a grain of salt.

Now, the cough. I find that taking Mucinex works well, it is over the counter. As always, talk to your doctor before starting any medications. I also find that drinking extra fluids helps, the better hydrated you are, the thinner the mucous hopefully. You can do this as long as you don't have any restrictions to fluids, such as kidney disease and such. I also nebulize several medications that helps break up my mucous, I have CF (cystic fibrosis) which makes my mucous very thick. One of the nebulized medications are saline, or salt water with a salt concentration similar to that of the sea. It works fairly well at breaking things up.

I hope something helps you out, you just sound so tired...I know I would be if I coughed for as long as you do.
Good luck, hopefully you will get more answers and a good treatment plan for your COPD.
Jenn
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