Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
How severe is this?
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How severe is this?

I quit smoking 10 years ago.  I am a 66 year old female.
I began having what sounds like exacerbations a few years ago, progressivly getting more and more often.  The last couple years we were at our daughters in FL.  Had to go on antibiotics two times last year and the same this year with stronger antibiotics.
Last year I had pulmonary function tests done.
Here are the results.... how do I interpret this?
Findings:  spirometry before standard albuterol treatment showed a forced vital capacity within normal linits at 2.67 liters or 90% of predicted.  FEV1 severely reduced at 1.02 liters or 48% or predicted, FEV1/FVC ratio was severly reduced at 53% of predicted.  Mid expiratory flow was very severely reduced at 0.35 liters per second or 14% of predicted.  Maximal forced expiratory flow was severely reduced at 2.74 liters per second or 47% of predicted.  Total expiratory time 11 seconds.  Maximal voluntary ventilation was severely reduced at 33.7 liters per minute or 39% of predicted.

Review of the flow volume loop curve shows a severe obstructive pulmonary defect with no significant immediate response to bronchodilator.  
242587_tn?1355427710
These spirometry results indicate a significant obstruction in the lungs that are not very responsive to a bronchodilator.  This would be consistent with a diagnosis of COPD (Emphysema).  The results are probably due to the past history of smoking.  I would speak with your physician about the test results and see what medications are appropriate for you to help you with this obstruction.  It is not uncommon for people to experience more breathing difficulties even after not smoking for 10 years, if they have a long history of smoking in the past.  The damage occurred years ago, but has not become apparent.  There are medications to help with this.

2 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for your response.
Yes, for about 5 years now, I have been getting more and more sinus and lung infections.  Last year after a flare up while in FL, I had to go on two antibiotics then after returning home I went to a Dr who put me on Spiriva and pro air.  I was feeling really well until last month I had another flare up while in FL again. The first antibiotic of zpack didin't get rid of it so the Dr in Fl prescribed 500 mg leviquin which is working, the infection seems to have passed.  I guess I am wondering that since I was diagnosed about 15 years ago, what am I to expect next?  that diagonisis I posted was from last year, just how quickly with the disease progress?
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