Please help. Scared spirometry results?

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Hi all,

good day. I would truly appreciate your help. I have smoked since I was 18. Pack and a half for last 10 yrs. I am 37. Last two years I have used a inhaler on/off. I can go a week without it and then use it for 3 days in a row. Depends on weather and dust. I have allergies. I took a spirometry test today and my doc said it wasn't asthma but copd. Is it? I did not use an inhaler though suffered all day. Can you help read these results? Does copd symptoms come and go? The only reason is last week I didn't need a inhaler at all until yesterday after working in the brisk cold weather. Thank you in advance. I'm at a loss. 

P

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Phil 

    Can you Wright the test results as we can't see the numbers

    Also have a look at my posting I'm in the same boat but had my appointment yesterday and it looks like I may have been miss diagnosed 

    I wish you all the best.

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    • Posted

      Hi, hope this helps. Not sure what it means.

      FVC

      Actual= 4.70     Norm=5.12      %NORM= 92

      FEV1

      Actual= 3.64     Norm=4.23       %Norm= 86

      FEV1/FVC%   

      Actual = 77%     Norm= 83%      %Norm=93

      Does this look like COPD or is the bell curve more important? Thanks. Sorry to hear you are going through troubles too.

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  • Posted

    Hi Phil

    i posted something yesterday because up until yesterday I had not heard of copd.  I was left feeling very frightened and sent away without anything to help.  I am not sure if it flares up as such, I just know whatever I have has flared up and not slept for nights,  I feel so ill and just sat waiting for X-ray results and the practise nirse dairy to become available.  Until then I don't know what I have or what I can do to help e breathlessness and pain with nth coughing 

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  • Posted

    Hi I am sorry you have copd.   The difference between asthma and copd is that with the right meds asthma is reversible.  Copd is not.  It is a progressive disease and the meds can only treat it,  not cure it..   Hopefully you will be mild.

    Don't panic though (and please don't google indiscrimately or you will scare yourself silly - stick to recognised sites such as the British Lung Foundation (it is based in the UK but is multi-national).   There is a lot you can do to hold back the progress mainly stopping smoking (if you do),  eating healthily and exercising regularly.   You will have every chance of living and long and healthy life.   

    The figures you need to ask are your FEV1 (forced expiratory Volume) which is how much air you can blow out in 1 second.   This will give you your lung function.

    The next figures are you FVC (forced volume capacity)  this is what you can blow out for as long as possible.   

    This will show the level of lung damage. 

    The way it works is they take the average figures for someone of your age,  weight,  build etc. which is say 90% of lung function.   If your levels are less than 80% of the average then you will have mild copd.  So your fev1 is less than 80% of this you will be diagnosed with copd.   If you levels are say 60% you will have moderate copd.   

    But the good news is there are lots of meds which are available to treat the symptoms ie the breathlessness and like I said with the right care you can do a lot to slow down or even halt the progression.  

    I hope this is helpful and clear.  If not come back to me and I will do my best to further help.  x

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much.  Very helpful. I guess my questions are:

      1. Do COPD symptoms of Shortness of breath come and go without having to take medicen for a few days/week?

      2. Are my numbers showing COPD?

      3. Is the bell shape curve more important than numbers?

      Thank you again, I'm going to see a pulmonologist soon but just trying to understand it all. Some days I don't need an inhaler at all. is that normal for COPD?

      Here are my numbers:

      FVC

      Actual= 4.70     Norm=5.12      %NORM= 92

      FEV1

      Actual= 3.64     Norm=4.23       %Norm= 86

      FEV1/FVC%   

      Actual = 77%     Norm= 83%      %Norm=93

      Thank you again. All the best.

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  • Posted

    Take note of what Hypercat says, he makes good sense. Number 1, above all else, quit smoking, every cigarette is a nail in your coffin. Number 2, get your doctor to refer you to a respiratory clinic. The staff there know the answers to everything you want to know.
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  • Posted

    Thank you all so much. I am seeing a pulmonologist soon. I guess my question is do my numbers look like COPD? What is Actual and %Norm mean? Which one is used to diagnose COPD? I truly appreciate all of your responses. Good information and support here it looks like.
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  • Posted

    Hi Phil, 

    I live in the US and was born with severe asthma which later turned to COPD.  I am now 56, but by the age of 30, I lost 70% of my lung capacity to permanent damage and I never smoked, but breathed second hand smoke in my growing up home.  It turns out that my becoming pregnant at the age of 22 caused my lungs to become worse.  So I never had another baby.

    COPD symptoms do go up and down and can be easily exaserbated by catching a cold or being around environments that you are allergic to.  I recommend that if you can, also hook up with a good allergist where you can learn exactly what you are allergic to.  

    Then my most important advice, I think, is to take your medications exactly as instructed.  Some steroid inhalers for example, take time to work to fullest measure.  Just get into the habit of taking your meds.  It is better to use an inhaler once or twice a day than to go without, get your lungs in trouble again, and then need to use it a lot three days in a row.

    We are fortunate that we live in a world where science has come far along in discovering and creating wonderful medications that can help us continue our lives without the worst of suffering that could be withouty them.

    Also, when it comes to being out in brisk cold weather, it helps us lung patients to cover our noses and mouths so that the air can warm before we inhale it.  Cold air causes us trouble.  I use a scarf, but I also have a thin head cover that I use while riding the motorcycle and it comes up around my nose and mouth but is light weight enough to not suffocate me.

    Wishing you the best!

    Dawn

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  • Posted

    Hiya Phil.  It sounds like your lung function is 77% which is very very mild copd.  

    You need to take the meds as prescribed even if you feel as though you don't need them.   They will help you to maintain a good air flow and some of them are accumulative especially spiriva if you are prescribed that.   

    If you don't take the meds then you  will have more flare ups and other forms of pollution ie traffic fumes will affect you more.   

    You should also ask your doctor or nurse for a 'rescue pack'.  This is usually steroids and antibiotics so you can start treatment for a chest infection immediately instead of having to wait until you can see a doctor.  You must learn to take your lungs seriously and if in doubt it is much better to see a doctor than not.   Infections can further damage your lungs so seek treatment and don't wait.

    I am on another copd site and this poster blogged in late one evening about having pain in her lungs and whistling noise when she breathed.   She was taking it very lightly.   A couple of 'idiots' went in with wishy washy advice.  I came in and was horrified - I told her to get her ass to the hospital now in no uncertain terms.   I then worried all night about her.

    To my relief she had gone and had a tear in one lung.  This could have been serious if she had left it.   So the message is - don't take chances!  

    Bev x  

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