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Diagnosed at 38

Only smoked for around 13 years but was exposed to a lot of stuff in Iraq. Please tell me that there are people diagnosed as young as me that are still around in their 70s? I have kids that I need to see grow up.

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Comments

  • joyceq
    3 months ago

    I was diagnosed at 37 with emphysema/COPD, I’ll be 56 in a couple of months. Also hoping I can stick around awhile! I have a 3 year old grand son and a grandbaby due in January!

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    3 months ago

    Hi joyceq, and thanks for joining in this conversation. We’re glad to have you as a member of our online community. Many of our community members are living long productive lives with this condition – just look around the website (and on our COPD Facebook page), and you’ll see.
    Are you being followed by a physician? Do you have a treatment plan in place? A medication regimen? Please let us hear back from you.
    Leon (site moderator)

  • SgtCedar
    7 months ago

    I am 71 years old. I have had COPD most of my life (long before age 38). I never smoked but have had trouble breathing since elementary school. I did improve enough to serve in Vietnam and 13 years in the National Guard.

    Treatment for COPD is so much better today than when I was diagnosed. If you get proper medical advice and follow it your chances of living long enough to see your children grow up are very good.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    7 months ago

    Hi SgtCedar and thanks so much for your post. We appreciate you sharing your long term history with COPD. You are an excellent example of how it is possible to live well and long with this condition. We receive so many inquiries related to that specific issue. We appreciate your candor. Leon (site moderator)

  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    7 months ago

    Hi SgtCedar – that’s very wise advice! Taking care of yourself and heeding your doctors advice when it comes to dealing with COPD is very important.
    -Lyn (site moderator)

  • lynn2u
    8 months ago

    Ok. I will tell you that I was first diagnosed at about age 31 with emphasema (one of the conditions included in COPD). I smoked for about 43 years and am now age 78. I take no meds except oxygen, about 1 lpm at rest and about 2 lpm when exercxising which I do almost every day. I do breath exercises, strength building exercises and aerobic exercise, treadmill, walks with the dog etc. It is the key, along with a grateful and optomistic point of view and an ability to manage stress, which can be your worse enemy! I am a retired clinical psychologist and I have to continually treat my own anxiety, worry . Learning proper breathing techniques goes a long way in helping with this aspect of the disorder. Rhythem and timing of the breaths is as important as is the pursed lip exhale, in my opinion!
    1

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    7 months ago

    Hi lynn2u and thanks so much for this post. Your sharing your long term experience with COPD is very encouraging to hear. So many of our community have expressed interest and concern about how they can live with COPD. Your post should provide them with some real life support and encouragement. Warm regards, Leon (site moderator)

  • Janet Plank moderator
    8 months ago

    Hi Johnny51, thank you for sharing.
    I know of a few people that were diagnosed in their early 40s and it’s likely there are some that are younger.
    You have been exposed to so many things. My brother-in-law was in Iraq. He came home with other health issues, no COPD yet anyway.
    It’s so important that you have a doctor ask about an exercise plan or even pulmonary rehab. Exercise is so good and important. As is nutrition, medication as prescribed, and later on if it’s necessary, oxygen. It’s important to live a healthier life. Remember, no one has an expiration date and you have living yet to do.
    Breathe-easy,
    Janet (site moderator)

  • Johnny51 author
    8 months ago

    Nope. Quit smoking when I got out of the military in 2009

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    8 months ago

    Hi again, Johnny51, and congratulations on being smoke free since 2009. That is one of the best things you can do to help manage your condition. If there is anything we can assist you with, please let us know. You may also find it helpful to check out our COPD Facebook page. Many of our members interact there throughout the day speaking to one another (and of course the COPD team) about their condition. Wishing you well, Leon (site moderator)

  • michelle.vincent moderator
    8 months ago

    Hi Johnny51,

    Like Leon, I’m sorry you got COPD, especially at such a young age. Obviously I can’t tell you how long you’ve got to live, but I can say that many people in our support group, and others, were diagnosed young and have had the disease for 20-30 years. There are also a lot of patients in the last stage of COPD, Stage IV, who’ve been living (and I mean living, not just still breathing) for 10-15 years. I myself was diagnosed at age 41 as a non-smoker and I plan to be here for decades yet. It’s definitely doable, especially since you quit smoking, and if you take care of yourself. Enjoy your kids.

    thanks, Michelle (site moderator)

  • sardonicus
    8 months ago

    Johnny51: I cant answer your question, but I felt so bad for you, especially being in that hole Iraq. I hope you no longer smoke. From what I hear that slows the progress to a crawl…..Good Luck…sardonicus

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    8 months ago

    Hi Johnny51 and thanks for your post. I’m sorry this is happening to you and appreciate your concern. Have you been diagnosed with COPD? Are you being followed by a physician? There is much you can do to slow down the progression of the disease. I thought this article might provide you with some additional insight: https://copd.net/living/progress-can-be-slowed/. I do hope you find it to be helpful. Wishing you the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • Johnny51 author
    8 months ago

    I have.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    8 months ago

    Hi Johnny51 and thanks for the reply, letting us know you’ve been diagnosed with COPD. Leon (site moderator)

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