Shallow breating

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Can somone tell me the symptoms of OPD? I do have trouble breathing sometimes and my chest hurts. It is NOT my heart they say. Doctors don't say much anymore it seems.

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  • Posted

    I assume you mean COPD?    You may have asthma or bronchitis or emphysema, all of which come under the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease heading.

    If you are or have been a smoker there's a fair chance you could have COPD:  the only way to tell for sure is to ask your gp to refer you for a spirometry lung function test, which can be done by a pulmonary nurse.   

    Some doctors will get away with giving as little information as we let them:; if your heart has been checked out and is OK, did you ask what else could be causing the symptons?  They are exactly what I started experiencing about 6 months after a heart attack and was fairly sure it was my lungs and it was. 

    I'd given up smoking after decades even before the heart attack, but obviously far too late.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the info.

      My mother died of congestive heart/ lung failure. She was a smoker  and I am not.

      What caues COPD? .

      My lungs hurt......on each side parallel to my ribs. I guess it is  my lungs. Sometimes it feel like something boreing into a specific place in my side. What can I do?

      I get soo tired of this and other health issues of mine.Getting older is no fun.

       

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    • Posted

      Cause depends on which condition it is;  COPD covers mainly longterm asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema.    What response do you get from doctors when you ask them about your symptoms?

      I agree getting old is no fun, but it's at least better than the alternative!  If you do have COPD it is manageable and not curable but can be very slow in progressing.   

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    • Posted

      It's kinda scarry,because COPD is so proggresive and noncureable. But then, death of everyone is non-curable. We can all help each other until then, huh.
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    • Posted

      Like most of us, I did a huge panic when first diagnosed until my then gp told me she'd recently been to a funeral for a patient in her 80's who'd had COPD for decades.

      I reckon it could be a LOT worse - eg cancer which can kill you quickly and you don't even know you have it until far too late

       

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  • Posted

    Hi David,

    Much medical diagnosis is a matter of elimination based on what symptons you present and the information you give the doctor. It should be fairly easy to eliminate (or confirm) COPD with a simple spirometry test which can be done by a qualified practice nurse.  Depending on the results it could mean further investigation(X-ray/scan etc) or investigation into other possible causes of your discomfort/symptons such as cardio.

    Ask to have the COPD investigated first so that it can be eliminated or not.

    First indications of COPD which take people to the doctor is usually breathlessness, especially if faced with an incline whilst out walking.  Also a persistant cough and heavy sputom production can, but not necessary is, present.

    Continual chest infections after a cold or flu' can also indicate a problem.

    I can only talk from my own experience, but chest pains do not seem to figure, but diaphram muscle ache from continual or violent coughing do feel much the same.

    Good luck and DO ask for intelligent investigation and answers.

    Michael

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    • Posted

      The more I learn about COPD, both on this site and elsewhere, the more I realise what a variable condition it is:  I did have central chest pain as a symptom of COPD and still get it sometimes on exertion.

      I also called an ambulance believing I was having another heart attack bc it felt similar only to discover at the hospital that I had pneumonia bc of the COPD.    

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    • Posted

      Man, I feel like I have just been to the doc. Thanks for the info. You are so helpful. It sounds like I am at the first stage of CPOD.
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  • Posted

    If your doc surgery has a respiratory clinic, ask for an appointment for a respiractory check, initially it will be peak flow and spirometry test.  If your surgery doesn't have a respiratory clinic your GP should be able to carry this out or refer you to a clinic that can.

    Check NHS choices site for Asthma Diagnosis, worth read that page, by doing so you will find a link to information on COPD, this will give you an indication on symptoms, and the different between asthma and COPD.

    Generally COPD early symptoms are shortness of breathe, not being able to run or hurry without discomfort, pain can occur in chest when walking up hill or when the air quality is poor or air temperature is too cold, in addition pain in the chest and breathing difficulties can occur if there is a lung infection which people can get after a cold or virus but this does not mean necessarily that COPD has developed.

    A smoker presenting to the doctor with breathing difficulties and reduce ability to be active, with a persistent cough should be tested for COPD.  However if the person is very young the doctor may need some prompting especially if there is a history of lung disease in the family already.

    If you symptoms persist always go back to your doc to have your symptoms investigated further.

    Best wishes V

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    • Posted

      Asthma isn't different to COPD:  longterm asthma is one of the conditions which comes under the COPD umbrella description.  There are however differences between say asthma and emphysema and chronic bronchitis, but they all come under COPD
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    • Posted

      In Canada/US UK and Europe Asthma has been removed from.the COPD umbrella term. From the sounds of what you are saying this is not the case in Australia. Not sure what you mean by long term asthma Jude....can you clarify? Thanks!
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    • Posted

      I've never had it but as I understand it longterm asthma can lead to emphysema - hence COPD.    I mean lifelong asthma:  people who develop it at a young age and end up with emphysema as a result.

      I hope I'm making sense - I really shouldn't write replies late at nght when I'm tired ...

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the quick reply Jude. From what I've read asthma which is not well controlled can lead eventually to emphysema and asthma which is not reversible (less than 15% reversibility on the pft) is then defined as copd with an asthma component or more recently being called ACOS Asthma copd overlap syndrome...which is what I have. ..persistent asthma ( not episodic) showing only 10% reversibility post bronchodilator.
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    • Posted

      Asthma is different to COPD jude. Not all Asthmatics develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  Asthma is not necessarily chronic but it can become so, then it becomes COPD.  People with COPD don't have asthma attacks unless they have both asthma and COPD. 

      Check of BLF's page on Lung conditions, there is an A to Z list, Asthma is listed separately to COPD.

      https://www.blf.org.uk/Page/conditions

      or even patient UK pages will describe each I am sure.

      Emis Moderator comment: Indeed we do, see link below that explains the difference between asthma and COPD.

      https://patient.info/health/chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease-leaflet#nav-4

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    • Posted

      I replied similar about this to your first comment jude, its waiting approval from the moderators because I included a link. 
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    • Posted

      Vee2, I know people with lifelong asthma who've then developed emphysema and been told it was caused by the asthma.

      Of course I know the difference, I don't know why you thought I didnt:  I've stated on this site on a number of occasions that ventolin doesn't do a thing for me because I have emphysema and have never had asthma.

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    • Posted

      Yes its when the asthma becomes Chronic, to the point when lung damage occurs, but of course not all asthmatics will develop COPD, emphysema or chronic bronchitis, some asthma patients do but not all. Some people have been wrongly diagnosed with asthma, only to find out later they have alpha1 which can lead to emphysema ./ COPD.

      You did say in reply to me above that you thought asthma isn't different to COPD, that is why I gave the link to BLF site.  Just so others / newly diagnosed don't misunderstand your comment about them being the same. We are agreed now that they are not, that's good smile

      On its own ventolin wouldn't help me either but I do use it and find it helpful prior to exercise, when airways narrow, before evening steroid med.  I have emphysema also, no asthma.  Sometimes when our airways have already narrowed for whatever reason air pollution, cold air etc, we don't or can't always get the medicine deep enough into our lungs, to help me achieve this when using ventolin I use an aerochamber, there are a few other spacers which can help achieve the same result.  Also for years people were trying to take the ventolin breathing in quickly , its a slower longer breath intake technique recommended now in UK.

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    • Posted

      This is my last word to you on this subject and I'm only bothering because I hate being misquoted:  if you read my post properly you will see that I did NOT state that asthma and emphysema are the same thing, but that asthma and COPD aren't necessarily separate conditions.

      To say that longterm asthma and COPD are entirely separate things is a bit like saying one has a malignant tumour  

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    • Posted

      ...... cont'd ....

      Damn these cataracts, I hit send before I'd' fiished what I was saying ...

      .... AND cancer.     That's interesting that you find ventolin useful with emphysema:  I've been told from the very first spirometry test when ventolin made no difference to the readings that it's no use except for asthma.

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    • Posted

      I do not smoke and  soooooooo glad I do not.  It's just a part of getting older I guess. It really effects the golden years.  Sad but true. I don't mind if 120 but I miss things I use to do. Took a 3 mile walk.dumb huh, and by the time I got home I was in bab shape. My wife got on to me. 
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    • Posted

      Congrats on the 3 mile walk but I just want to point out that the most important thing I learned at rehab apart from the special exercises was that there's no point in "soldiering on" with COPD because it just takes longer to recover.    What's the point in pushing yourself until you're in bad shape?

      Stop whatever you're doing when you get breathless, do the appropriate breathing exercises and then continue.   Good luck!

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    • Posted

      You are right. I will not try that again. If for no other reason my wife will bang me on the head.
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    • Posted

      Funny!  If she's reading this tell her she sounds like a woman after my own heart ... not that I have a partner to bang on the head, but I do understand that frustration when someone you care about isn't taking care of him/herself.

      Keep your lungs AND your head as healthy as possible, ehj?

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    • Posted

      jude I think you should read what I said and what you said again. 

      I never said you said what you said I said :D

      But no matter we will leave it at that.

      Have a good breathing day.

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