Lung damage through exacerbation

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My last post about worsening symptoms made me realize how pushing yourself can worsen symptoms. I also wonder about exacerbation from air travel - I wrote about this before and I apologize for repeating!! I am convinced that my symptoms got worse after air travel although the ER doc disagreed. I am due to travel home in a couple of weeks -

This must happen to others who travel by air? Or heard of it? In any case I am concerned that worsening symptoms mean permanent damage. Thank you to all!!

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  • Posted

    I'd also be very interested to know whether an exacerbation causes permananent damage? It's a question I've never really been given a coherent answer to from my doctors.

    (Just as a matter of interest ..does anyone else here get that irritating 'pop-up' about receiving the newsletter from the site? I've aready clicked on yes to receive it, but the damn thing keeps popping up over and over again, despite clicking on 'don't show me again' about 100 times).

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  • Posted

    Hi any exacerbation will cause further lung damage which is why it is so important to take ab's and maybe steroids as soon as you have an infection.  It is always better to be safe than sorry.  x
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    • Posted

      I had pneumonia once in the past. This time I went to ER and they found no infections, did not see anything but I did not feel well. It was such a big change that I thought it had to be an infection.

      Thank you!

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  • Posted

    You probably need to ask you GP for a PR referral, it will help you understand the illness better, manage your symptoms better and help you to ID the difference between a worsening of symptoms through air pollutions and poor air quality and when you actually have a lung infection.  There is a difference, an exacerbation of symptoms may or may not include a lung infection, this is when it is more likely to cause lung damage if left untreated.

    Some exacerbation of symptoms are just down to air quality or air pollution, for some with badly damaged lungs this could put them in hospital.  For others they recover when they remove themselves from the irritant or bad air quality.

    It is my understanding, not all exacerbations leed to lung infection, not all lung infections lead to further lung damage.  It all depends how quickly the lung infection is treated and how severely damaged the lungs are already.

    People with severly damaged lungs are required to get the ok from their doctor and airlines may not permit those people to fly without a fit to fly note from their doctor.

    Your lung functioning is pretty good (as mentioned in your previous post) so I doubt your doctor will send you for a fit to fly assessment, but he may refer you to pulmonary rehabilitation should you ask.  

    Worsening of symptoms with lung functioning between 84-94%  unlikely to cause lung damage, unless you have a full blown lung infection left not treated immediately or pneumonia.  If you had either of those you wouldn't be up to or considering taking a flight, from the way you are asking questions its seem like you have not experienced these things yourself, which is great.

    I really think you would benefit from the Lung education and exercise programme offered for diagnosed lung patients.  As in Pulmonary Rehabilitation, it will help you understand so much more.

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    • Posted

      Assuming the person has COPD that is.

      For people with Asthma or other lung issues not under the COPD banner or in addition to COPD then it would be advisable to consult with your own medical advisers.  Indeed this advisable if in doubt about your own illness/es whatever may be the case.

      If your illness is not COPD or includes other illnesses as well as COPD perhaps check the other appropriate forums.

      Here I am mainly answering posts about COPD only since it is the discussion forum for COPD. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much for your reply, it is very helpful, this forum is so helpful!

      I did have mild pneumonia once a while back. As I said here, no infection was found. I felt very unwell and still think it may have been the flight. I don't think I would be sent to fit to fly but it is very upsetting since my main family lives 1500 miles away.

      My docs don't seem to recommend PR unless very severe. This is the States, so health insurance guidelines very different! I am going to ask when I get home anyway. I know it would be very helpful. I appreciate all your advice. I am pretty nervous about getting home and dealing with this by myself. So the help I get here is really appreciated.

      I believe Jude said that her lung function has remained the same for three years. Thank you for your replies! I hope I am that fortunate.

      Also, I have gone to more of a city environment while visiting my parents, so it could be the air quality. I will see how that is when I get home, I guess. The air quality is very good at home.

      Please keep me up to date on your own situation.

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  • Posted

    Maryteresa wrote: "My docs don't seem to recommend PR unless very severe".

    I had the same here in UK. My doctor referred me for PR, but the PR unit turned me down. Same reason .. because my condition wasn't severe enough. It's a bit daft in a way, really .. because you'd think the NHS would want to catch the 'mild' cases in their early stages to save money in the future. But the lady said they just didn't have the people or the resources to take mild cases. 'Cut backs' .. and all that.  I was just told to keep on walking, take me meds, eat well , do the breathing .. and they'd review the situation in a year or so.

    Jo

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