A Bit of Emphysema ?

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Hello all.  After a chest xray, then a ct scan then another xray I was told I had "a bit of emphysema, some copd" a few years ago.

I really don't have any symptoms of breathlessness or cough and I had stopped smoking one month before these tests (two and a half years ago now).

Would this account for low blood oxygen levels though?   Can you have "a bit of emphysema"???, is it likely to be worse now?

Hope someone can help please.

j

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello,

    Yes it would account for low oxygen saturations, COPD tends to be degenerative process unfortunalty. Of course you can only have a bit, it depends how much lung is affected. If you have low sats you really need to see your doctor, you may need some investigations, spirometry for example, which invloves you blowing into a machine to test your lungs.

    Best wishes

    aa

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    • Posted

      Hello

      Kind of you to reply, I do appreciate it.  I was hoping as I'd stopped smoking the "bit" of emphysema would stay at the same level and not get worse, but perhaps I was hoping for too much.   Will get a spirometry organised.

      Thanks     

      j

       

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  • Posted

    Hi this is often what's called background emphysema,  which means you are not diagnosed with it but there are signs you could be in the future.  Please don't worry too much about it as I was diagnosed mild 8 years ago and am still mild.  The doctor told me something else would get me first ie old age!   It rarely progresses quickly unless you are very unlucky or have other health conditions which could affect it. 

    It's more a wake up call to lead a healthier lifestyle,  and obviously giving up smoking is the best thing you can do. 

    How low are your sats?   Do you use an oxymeter to measure them?   You only need to worry if they regularly go below 90 especialy under 88 for periods of time.  If you use an oxymeter then it will not be as accurate as the ones doctors use as their are recalibrated every day.  It might also need a new battery and if you are cold then the results can be artificially low.

    If you are worried then your best call of port is to make an appointment to see a doctor and get them checked at the surgery.  x

     

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    • Posted

      Hi and thank you for that explanation.  I've never heard of background emphysema.  My sats are pretty low, mid 80s.  If I take deep breaths they go up some, but  drop again with normal breathing .  I've just ordered an oxymeter yesterday !

      You mention something that really interests me about low results when cold.   Is it possible that if the sats get very low the body temperature drops?  

      I'm not anxious about my health  but I like to try and understand what's going on and these forums are full of such amazingly helpful and knowledgeable guys so I'm always asking questions and getting so much kindness.

      best wishes    j.  x

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    • Posted

      some good info here, although you'd be lucky if your GP recalibrated their pulse ox every year never mind every day! lol

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    • Posted

      Hi I think you read it wrong.  What I meant was if the oxymeter is cold it can give false readings,  not the human body,  though maybe that will do it too?

      x

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  • Posted

    If you have no symptoms I am unsure why you would think you have low blood oxygen levels?  Have you had an ABG done and advised you have low blood oxygen?

     

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    • Posted

      I've had to have a few hospital procedures this year for unconnected issues and consistently informed I have low blood oxygen which should be assessed further.  I also have high hgb.

      I posted here to ask if this could be connected/caused by the "bit of emphysema" my doc. mentioned a few years ago.

      j.

       

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    • Posted

      Its really something your doctors should advise on.  Unconnected issues ! could be any of those since it was discovered through hospital procedures unconnected to COPD.

      There are specific smptoms experienced by lung patients who have low blood oxygen levels. your respiratory consultant can investigate low ABG.  If you are not under a respiratory consultant do ask your doctor to refer you to one.  But as I said low blood oxygen usually does come with symptoms.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Vee2.  I don't want to take up time and space on this thread unnecessarily of course.

      I have just had a chest x ray and soon a spirometry.  I don't cough, rarely have chest infections (one in 5 years) have no coloured sputum, previous smoker, breathless with exertion.

      I don't think my problem is lung relaed though my doctor thinks it is.

      Hopefully these tests I'm having will clarify where the problem lies.

       

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