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What do you think caused your COPD?

Smoking, your career, the alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency... what do you think contributed to your diagnosis?

  1. I had mild asthma as a child. Both parents were non smokers but I foolishly tried smoking when I was 17 and continued to 32. I had a very light smoking habit, smoking only when drinking. It was however a situation where I was drinking heavily at least two nights a week and up to 4 during holidays etc. these were nights out where you could easily smoke a box of 20. This continued for 15 years.


    In retrospect I wasn't that confident, smoking and drinking was my outlet and at that time in the late 80's / 90's it was a different scene to today. It was a work hard, party hard environment with less emphasis on sports / fitness etc.


    I also had periods where I didn't smoke for months on end. My Pulmo added it up about 5 pack years but it still got me. I thought because my smoking was so controlled and significantly less than others I'd be ok.


    I reckon I was particularly sensitive to Cigarette smoke as I always had an asthma attack when I was on holiday as child, reason; lots of people smoking in the hotel.


    My mother now has COPD as has my sister and my Grandmother died from Emphysema, all non smokers. I have tested negative for Alpha 1 being MM Genotype & I'm about to get a test organised for my mother.


    I was prescribed Asthma med's at 27 which worked well for me but they don't anymore. Despite being diagnosed years ago there's been a recent decline in my condition & FEV1 which has brought all this to the fore.


    Once again I'm now feeling so stupid for smoking and I'm dealing with lots of issues at the moment like anxiety, guilt etc. I've just been prescribed a new inhaler in a search to cure my breathlessness that nearly sent me up the wall.


    Still can't believe that the light smoking I did compared to others will make me feel off for the rest of my life. Duh!


    Lastly I spent 3 hours a day for 10 years stuck in bumper to bumper traffic and worked 10 years in an office where the smoke from the smoking room drifted around the office. As a child I was exposed to fossil fuels from an oil burner and an open fireplace. The city where we lived had a smog problem in the 70's and 80's. It all adds up but unfortunately I'm confident on one thing, the smoking with Asthma is the main issue.


    Anyway, I wish you all the best, hopefully there'll be a cure sometime soon but I thought this in 2004 too when diagnosed at 33 years of age-.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to respond Leon, of course an relevant info you can send on is truly appreciated!


    2. Hi again, Cruzer - of course!! I thought you might want to start with this article on slowing the progression of the disease: https://copd.net/living/progress-can-be-slowed.
      As well, this article focuses on treatment for the early stages of COPD: https://copd.net/living/early-stage-treatment. I did send you a link to this article in our conversation (above), but I'm not sure if you actually saw the link.
      Please know, we are here to assist you in any way that we can. You are always welcome here in our online community.
      Best regards,
      Leon (site moderator COPD.net)

  2. With me it was asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and passive smoking my dad's Navy Cut as a baby. My mum went to work, he wasn't able. In the end he had emphysema himself from a lifetime of smoking. But he died of heart failure. It does help me to be on here and not feel so alone with it. Hugs to all.

    1. We are here to support you and deeply appreciate you sharing with our community. Thank you for stopping by and have a peaceful rest of the day. - John M. (COPD.net Team)

  3. Smoking at 14, exposure to chemicals, agent orange driving silo bulk transport with much dust, I think this all adds up to where I am today.

    1. Thank you for remembering me. I am in Malaga. This is a hard fight for me with PTSD and COPD and being a Vietnam Vet these last week have hit a nerve very deep inside me. Regards, Robert


    2. Hi again, Bob, nice to see you continue posting here in our online community again. I remember you signed on back in 2020.
      Several of my closest friends are Vietnam veterans, like you - I would like to thank you for your service to this country!
      Also like you, they have various issues they have carried with them since that era - we spend a lot of time talking about it. My heart goes out to you!
      If there is anything we can do to assist you, just let me or any other moderator / team member know and we will do our best.
      Wishing you well,
      Leon (site moderator COPD.net)


  4. What I think contributed to my COPD.
    1) parents smoking in home
    2) my smoking
    3) chicken pox in lungs at age 19 with complications of pneumonia.
    4) having 5 chromosomes that relate to higher risk of lung disease. And later finding through my Dna I had numerous red flagged genes that made me at higher risk for lung cancer and COPD. So the smoking before knowing this helped increase the risk of my genetic factors
    5) repeated 2-3 times per year bronchitis over lifetime
    6) at least 3 pneumonia episodes over lifetime
    7) exposure to TB at ago 26
    😎 ammonia mixed with bleach exposure
    9) VERY destructive MAC infection
    10) lung Cancer survivor of 17 years. Interesting note: the scar tissue from my upper left lobe removal was the perfect place for my MAC infection to create an abscess of infection where I had no blood supply.
    11) numerous exacerbations
    12) environmental exposure to car exhaust fumes in traffic for years
    13) California fires and residual ash


    All of this has gotten me to my current stage 4 COPD. And although my energy is limited and I get short of breath quite easily, I still keep on keeping on because I want to live. I do the best that I can to keep moving and participating in life’s activities both indoors and out. And I pray regularly for science to catch up and save the millions of us and give us new life.

    1. Thank you for such a thorough reply. I admire your courage in sharing and persevering through such challenges. Thanks for being a part of our community and please remember that we are here for you! - John M. (COPD.net Team)

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