Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer


Hi, I am 64 years old. I found out in the summer of 2016 that I have COPD. I have never smoked in my life. But I have breathed a lot of second-hand smoke. I feel bad about this because I did not smoke to get this. Right now I have been sick for 4 months. Short of breath, coughing, and I have had laryngitis for 4 months. I have been on 3 different antibiotics AND 2 ROUNDS OF PREDNISONE but nothing is working – is this normal? I have no energy it is hard to not be depressed. Does anybody have had this happen to them?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi 5mazy1810,

    I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through! Unfortunately, second-hand smoke is a common cause of COPD. However, don’t despair – you’ve come to the right place to find answers and get some tips for dealing with it.

    I hope you’ve found a good pulmonologist (lung doctor) that you have a good relationship with and you feel listens to you. It’s very important! While it’s not unusual for a person with COPD to have a bout of sickness, usually referred to as a flare-up or exacerbation, it does need to be monitored very carefully. It’s understandable that you’d be feeling depressed after an extended flare-up.

    Try to monitor very closely the things that seem to be triggering your worsening symptoms. Eat the best you can and get plenty of rest. Did you have a flu shot? Ask your doctor about that as well.

    Pulmonary rehab is something else you might want to look into. Your doctor should be able to give you information on where you can go. Here’s an article that may give you more tips and other community members may also chime in.


    Lyn (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi 5Mazy1810 – I see that Lyn has provided you with a comprehensive group of answers to your excellent questions about COPD. If you are interested in reading a bit more about your inquiries, I thought you might find these articles will provide more insight as to what you’re experiencing:
    This article focuses on the causes and risk factors of COPD:
    This article addresses looking for the right doctor:
    This article explains exacerbations:
    This article is all about ‘triggers’:
    And this article is all about fatigue:

    This represents a lot of material but, please, take your time, and read it at your leisure. Learning about COPD and how to cope with it and live a productive life with it takes time. As Lyn said, you’ve come to the right place. We are all here to provide support and lend an ear.
    You are always welcome here!
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Poll