I have been continually getting sob for 16yrs.Trouble sleeping for proper length,and sob up stairs and inflated lungs.I was a smoker who quit two years ago.I used to cough up mass quantities of phlegm(not now though-trapped air),had many bouts with bronchitis and have had pneumonia 3 or 4 times.I received news(last week) of having emphysema.It was diagnosed by doing different pulmonary tests.The result said mild,but lung age 103 years(that seems like a contradiction).I am 48 years of age.I feel like I am continuing to get shorter of breath.Can lung age be reversed?What specifically does lung age mean,should I get a will together immediately?I still lift heavy weights(benchpress)but am concerned now if this is causing my ribcage to spread and become more barrellike.Any harm to be caused by this?Thanks in advance to all who reply
There are several different types of machines used for testing lungs. Some of them do give a "lung age". At National Jewish we do not provide this data and I would ignore it. It is not reliable or important. The other values your physician got from your pulmonary function testing are far more important. It does sound like you have emphysema. You are young and need to pursue appropriate treatment to slow the progression of this disease. You may want to consider seeing a pulmonary specialist. You are to be congratulated on stopping smoking. It is the single most important thing you could have done. You should also continue to exercise and weight lifting is not thought to cause a barrel-chest. It is more likely due to the emphysema.
Emphysema is a chronic lung disease linked with cigarette smoking and worsened by contact with industrial dusts and other toxins. It is a disease that worsens over time. There is relatively irreversible obstruction of airflow and actual destruction of the air sacs in the lung. National Jewish has many good educational booklets available for free. Please call the Lung Line at 1-800-222-5864 to request them.
Congratulations on quitting smoking. That's the BEST thing you can do for your lungs and health! Lung age is not all that meaningful of a term and none of the six pulmonologists I have seen for my emphysema have used it.
As we age, each of us lose some lung capacity every year. In a person without lung disease, their lungs are built to last longer than the rest of their bodies. I assume they look at how much air you exhale in the 1st minute after a full inhalation (called FEV1), and base "lung age" on that, compared to an individual with healthy lungs and your sex and height.
You may wish to get a thorough re-evaluation by a pulmonary specialist, who can confirm your diagnosis and help guide your medication and therapy, as well as help you develop a written COPD action plan. (COPD stands for chronic obstructive lung disease, which covers both emphysema and chronic bronchitis.)
You can read lots of GREAT info about COPD at www.NationalJewish.org, particularly their MedFacts and Understanding series. You can also check out some on-line support groups. One that is very friendly is http://members.boardhost.com/COPD/
We CAN live full and active lives with emphysema, and you can work with your docs to get the best possible treatment plan for your condition.
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