What can I expect with COPD

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I have just been diagnosed with COPD. I am 62 years of age. My readings are FEV1 1.52 (69%) and FVC 2.37 (90%). The condition was discovered during an appointment I had with a research company. I had no idea I had this condition. I gave up smoking in 1997. I do get rather breathless when I walk upstairs or up hills, but generally normal walking is not a problem. My doctor assures me that it is mild and suggests not prescribing an inhaler as yet, but to keep a diary of symptoms and also to have a flu jab (even though I have only ever had flu once in my life). Since I don't really have any symptoms, I'm not sure what to diarise! Like many of the posters I have read on here, it has really scared me and all I think about each day is COPD and how long it will be before it gets extremely bad. I really need some reassurance about how quickly this disease is likely to develop. Also, maybe someone can tell me if I need to mention to my travel insurers that I have this condition and if it is safe to fly

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  • Posted

    Have you asked your Dr for a preventer inhaler that you have in the morning and night, i have this and find it great, i do have asthma which they say can turn into COPD. YES you MUST tell your travel insurer just incase anything happens when you are on holiday it is NEVER worth the risk not to tell them about ANY health problems you have had in the last 2 years...........as you don't take any medication for you COPD they won't bother
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  • Posted

    Just live life in a sensible manner, never smoke again. Eat a healthy diet, exercise or walk/swim. When out in really cold weather take care not to suck down freezing air to your lungs. And most of all don't worry too much. I have had this disease for years, I am 77 now and it has become severe. I am on three kinds of inhalers, in a wheelchair, on oxygen and still having a happy life. You have a long way to go and it is up to you to keep as healthy as you can. Best of luck June
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  • Posted

    Thank you so much ozzie123 and oddbiddy. It's good to get advice from several people on the subject, as well as reading other people's experiences
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  • Posted

    I was diagnosed two years ago with COPD (am now 64) and stopped smoking ten years ago. I have serevent twice a day and also spiriva. My Fev 1 is 102 and the gp says it's still mild, in fact the reading has improved since last year.. I too can walk easily on the flat but hills are more of a problem although since starting spiriva there has been a big improvement. Please try not to worry, I also told the travel insurance company and because it was gp controlled they are quite happy about it. Good luck. Margaret
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  • Posted

    Thank you Margaret. What you have said is very reassuring ... I will try not to worry!
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  • Posted

    I really wouldn't worry about having it mild in your 60's, and you've got no symptoms so you've got a lot to be positive about :-) I'm 32 with moderate copd and haven't yet stopped smoking, I'm very silly I know!!!
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  • Posted

    Thanks Warren. I'm sure everyone has preached to you, but you really should try your hardest to give up. Until I was told I had this, I always said I had had no benefit from giving up ... my blood pressure started going up almost immediately I stopped and I've been on beta blockers ever since, then I put on 5 stone (although I know I can no longer blame this on my metabolism slowing down!) However, now I can't help wondering how far advanced the COPD would be if I'd carried on smoking for the last 15 years ... or if I would even still be here. So I have a lot to thank my GP for as he put the fear of God into me to make me stop. Good luck to you
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  • Posted

    Please try not to worry TOO much! And please do follow the 'no smoking' rule -- for two reasons: It's bad for your health (duh!) and it's downright dangerous if you're using oxygen. (I've been in homes where a COPD sufferer has to drag an oxygen house around the house and still I see a couple of over-flowing ash trays in the lounge! One more thing: Ask your doctor if s/he thinks its safe for you to fly. While it happens infrequently, there ARE incidents where, as they say, 'cabin pressure is lost' and oxygen masks drop down for passengers' use. I'm wondering, though, if the oxygen level they provide would be enough to meet your needs?

    Good luck!

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  • Posted

    Thank you catsamore. I have never wanted to smoke since I gave up ... and that was 16 years ago, so I think I can safely say I never will again!
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