Patient Comments: Emphysema - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your emphysema?

Comment from: Ninka, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 05

I am 69 years old, and was hospitalized this past January because of severe shortness of breath. I was diagnosed with an Exacerbation of COPD. Surprise, surprise. It took 6 days of nebulizer treatments, and lots of meds and inhalers, oxygen, etc. for me to be able to catch my breath. I quit smoking the day I went to the hospital, and have not picked up a cigarette since. I had a close call, and decided that there wasn't a cigarette in the world that was worth more than my life to me. Now I am left with lung damage which is permanent, and have a hard time breathing especially at night. My future doesn't look very bright anymore. Please, if you smoke, do anything you can to quit before it's too late. And if you don't smoke, please don't ever start. I wish I had listened when they told me to stop. It's too late for me, but may not be for you.

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Comment from: Mouse, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: March 04

I lost my husband to an easily preventable cancer 6 years ago and now my 2nd husband has early emphysema. He"s said for years he"ll probably die of it because his mom has it, but did he quit smoking? No! Now I"m scared that once again I"m going to be watching a beloved husband die a slow and agonizing death. My husband smoked 35 years or more and lost most of his teeth due to the damage it causes and looks 20 years older than he is. He"s always been mistaken for a man in his 80s since he was in his mid-50s (he's 61 now). He coughs a lot and wheezes during lovemaking. He"s also stressing a lot watching his mom suffer through the final stages of emphysema. When he was first diagnosed, I sent away for a refillable e-cigarette for him to try and wean off cigarettes (going from full nicotine down to water vapor). It worked, thank goodness. But now I constantly worry - what is "early" emphysema; does it always progress (his doctor said he won"t, but I don"t know if I believe him). I"m scared of losing him and need to know what his and our future is! I"m also angry because everyone knows the risks and still they smoke! My sister-in-law is also in the last stages and I remember her very angrily saying she refused to quit. Now it"s too late for both her and my mother-in-law.

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Comment from:, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 01

At age 60 I was diagnosed with advanced emphysema. I smoked on and off for 40 years. I led a rich and active life and never thought I would have any kind of lung disease. I was in total denial. Now at 62 I recently stopped smoking cold turkey. I spent a year playing games with the patch. I have never tried any medication to help my emphysema. I need to find a good pulmonologist to honestly help me deal. I have been losing weight, muscle tone, and always feel exhausted. Everything "hurts." I also have advanced Sjögren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease that attacks connective tissue. And the kicker is I miss my cigarettes. What a horrible addiction!

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Comment from: Pan, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 20

I am 43 years of age and have been through a very traumatic few years. I was suffering shortness of breath particularly at night. I asked the doctor for a chest x-ray thinking it could be anxiety. I was diagnosed with emphysema only three days ago. I have two daughters and recently separated from my husband. I need to give up smoking. Time to meet the challenge. I hope I can.

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Comment from: CryBabyLana, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 28

I have been dealing with this STUFF since 1977, when I had my first spontaneous pnemothorax - collapsed lung- since then I have had 3 lung surgeries and lost count after the 15th chest tube-I use all my calories to be able to breathe. I was labeled with Bullomous Emphysema, COPD with Chronic Bronchitis and Pneumonia, they also threw in something about fatigue and depression. I am no better now than I was at 21. The doctors can't tell me what caused me to get this STUFF, except that I am slender, small frame and had bronchitis, colds, pneumonia, the usual kid stuff-growing up. I need a good Doctor in the Arlington, TX area.

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Emphysema - Experience Question: Please share your experience with emphysema.
Emphysema - Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you experience with emphysema?
Emphysema - Risk Factors Question: What risk factors do you have for emphysema? If so, what lifestyle changes do you plan to implement to prevent progressive emphysema?
Emphysema - Treatments Question: What treatments have been helpful in treating emphysema?
Emphysema - Diagnosis Question: What kinds of tests and exams did you have that led to a diagnosis of emphysema?
Emphysema - Causes Question: If known, what was the cause of your emphysema?
Emphysema - Smoking Question: Are/were you a smoker prior to your emphysema diagnosis? If you've stopped, what worked for you?

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