I have asthma and apparently, mild emphysema. I am 43 and smoked for 21 years. I quit 6 years ago and am a regular runner. I can run for 5 miles with little exertion, but I usually run for about 3 miles. I can still pass the army physical fitness test (2 mile run) in under the minimum time limit. My last spirometry test showed only 17% less lung function for my age so my doctor said I only have mild asthma but I do use a twice daily preventative inhaler. With no sign of emphysema on the spirometry test and being a regular jogger, my doctor looked surprised when he saw early emphysema on a lung X-ray. Now I am scared. Will it get worse and worse over time? Will I have to add more preventive inhalers later on? Will my ability to run decrease? What is my prognosis? Thank you
It is very hard to diagnose emphysema with a chest X-ray. No one can predict how fast, or how slowly, your condition will progress. I was diagnosed about 25 years ago and I am still here (age 81). There is no point in worrying about it. Keep up your exercise, eat a healthy diet, and enjoy your life.
I agree with all of the above advice. The first thing you need to do is to have a definitive diagnosis by a lung Doctor. If you do have Emphysema it would be slight. Keep up the exercises and stay well. Avoid colds and any illness that effects the lungs. It is a progressive illness but if you don't smoke and stay well you will live a very long time. Just get a positive diagnosis. It may not be anything you are thinking. Mistakes are made all the time just by looking at an x-ray.
Good luck and Gods speed.
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