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Doctor insights on: Could Emphysema And Copd Continue To Progress After You Stop Smoking For 40 Years

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Could emphysema and COPD continue to progress after you stop smoking for 40 years?

Could emphysema and COPD continue to progress after you stop smoking for 40 years?

Usually not, but...: Once you stop smoking, the destruction from the smoking stops. But, the decline in lung function does not. Everyone loses lung function with aging. But those who have COPD may lose that function at a faster rate, even if they stop smoking. Does that mean they should continue to smoke? No! ...Read more

Dr. Heidi Fowler
854 Doctors shared insights

Quit Smoking (Definition)

Quitting smoking is the single most important decision smokers can make to improve their health. Preparing a quit-smoking plan and enlisting support from your doctor and your loved ones can greatly improve your chances of success. Your doctor can help you decide if over-the-counter or prescription medications can help. Pick a quit day a few weeks ahead and put it on your calendar. Plan how you're going deal with situations that make you want to smoke. Take advantage of support from family, friends, and co-workers, and consider joining a smoking cessation program so that you don't ...Read more


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If you are on oxygen due to COPD and start exercising and stop smoking could you get off oxygen?

If you are on oxygen due to COPD and start exercising and stop smoking could you get off oxygen?

It's possible: It's possible but not certain. If stopping smoking helps your mucus production and bronchospasm that would help and if exercise resulted in significant weight loss that might help but if most of the hypoxia was related to emphysema then those interventions might not make much difference in oxygen levels. Best to quit smoking either way though to avoid cancer and disease progression. ...Read more

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If I stop smoking will that help heal my copd?

If I stop smoking will that help heal my copd?

Yes: COPD is caused by the accumulated damage created by exposure of the lungs to the toxins in cigarette smoke. If smoking is stopped, no new damage occurs and some old damage can heal. However, just like with the skin, sometimes scarring is left behind which can leave permanent changes. Damage that is not yet "scarred" can often heal. The sooner the smoking stops, the better. ...Read more

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My brother just found out he has COPD does he need to stop smoking?

My brother just found out he has COPD does he need to stop smoking?

Yes, and yes yes: Stopping smoking is the surest way to slow the progression of the disease and increase both quality of life and the number of years that your brother may live. There are many methods to quit smoking - the most successful include medications plus a cessation intervention that focuses on behavior and social support. Your local physician should have information on both. ...Read more

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If you are on oxygen because you have COPD can you get off oxygen if you exercise and stop smoking?

If you are on oxygen because you have COPD can you get off oxygen if you exercise and stop smoking?

Yes wait 3 months: If you quit smoking your lung capacity may improve and retesting oxygen need after 2 to 3 months is recommended. ...Read more

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I have COPD and early Emphysema, I just quit smoking and was wondering will my breathing get better over time?

I have COPD and early Emphysema, I just quit smoking and was wondering will my breathing get better over time?

It won't get worse: Good job! You should be proud as you have accomplished a great step! With the right therapies it will not get worse. When you quit smoking you preserve the lungs that are still viable and working. You need to be on inhalers and measure your oxygen level on exertion. ...Read more

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I quit smoking 10 years ago, but was just diagnosed with copd. Will my lungs get worse?

I quit smoking 10 years ago, but was just diagnosed with copd. Will my lungs get worse?

Yes...: COPD is a slowly progressive disease that has no cure. So, over time, your condition will slowly get worse. There are treatments that will control symptoms, however, so see your doctor. Smoking cessation is important to slow disease progression so congrats on quitting! Follow your doctor's treatment plan to control your symptoms! ...Read more

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What to do if I have recently been diagnosis with COPD and I quit smoking over 10 years ago, how ironicstage 2?

See you md: COPD can progress even once one quits smoking. With normal aging lung function declines, so even then someone quit smoking years later one get develope signficant copd. Also given you age of 31, I would be concerned for a condition called Alpha 1 Antitrypsin deficiancy. This is a genetic condition that can cause accelerate copd. ...Read more

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30 years old-dyspnea for past 4 weeks-quit smoking after two weeks-chances of lung cancer? COPD?

30 years old-dyspnea for past 4 weeks-quit smoking after two weeks-chances of lung cancer? COPD?

Not now but...: It deoends on your smoking exposure. Don't touch the evil weed again ever. See a pulmonologist. Stay off of it. It is poison! ...Read more

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My sis has bad COPD and continues to smoke. What could happen to her if she doesn't quit smoking?

My sis has bad COPD and continues to smoke. What could happen to her if she doesn't quit smoking?

COPD: Smoke will continue to damage her lung tissue and eventually she will not be able to collect enough oxygen from the air and require extra oxygen. COPD is serious issue and you should continue to encourage her to quit smoking. ...Read more

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I am on blood thinners and have copd. I Have to quit smoking and I am having surgery. I have some unused patches that have exp date of July 2017.Is i?

I am on blood thinners and have copd. I Have to quit smoking and I am having surgery. I have some unused patches that have exp date of July 2017.Is i?

I assume that you: Are asking if it is OK to use outdated Nicotine patches. The answer is NO and as a general rule it is dangerous to utilize ANY outdated medications. Ask your health care provider for a new prescription. ...Read more

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Many people I know with copd have more trouble with their breathing, when they quit smoking. Why is that?

Many people I know with copd have more trouble with their breathing, when they quit smoking. Why is that?

Lungs start to work: One of the side effects of smoking is poor clearance of mucus from the respiratory system.
Many long time smokers who quit (the right thing to do) will get a lot of coughing as their lungs wake up and get rid of all that junk that has been sitting there for ages...

It gets better and the lungs can recover from the smoking with time. ...Read more

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Recently quit smoking waking w noc asthma attacks-coughing up clear bubbly phlegm-otherwise young healthy active female. COPD? Cause for alarm?

Recently quit smoking waking w noc asthma attacks-coughing up clear bubbly phlegm-otherwise young healthy active female. COPD? Cause for alarm?

Unlikely: COPD takes years to develop so this is probably not that. This is probably combination of allergies and poorly controlled asthma. I suggest follow up with your doctor so that you get proper inhalers and perhaps pulmonary function tests to gauge severity of asthma. Congrats on stopping smoking! ...Read more

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28 yo. Quit smoking two weeks ago. Tight chest. Pft nov Fvc 79 fev1 98% pft feb Fvc 110 fev1 115. Fev1/Fvc 83%. Both have low pef. Copd? Asthma?

28 yo. Quit smoking two weeks ago. Tight chest. Pft nov Fvc 79 fev1 98% pft feb Fvc 110 fev1 115. Fev1/Fvc 83%. Both have low pef. Copd? Asthma?

Hard to tell,: With those findings, further testing is needed. Unlikely to be COPD, given your age, please keep the follow up with your doctor / pulmonologist for continuity of care and better management, take medicines as prescribed, good luck ...Read more

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Do I have copd?! emphysema? Almost 25. Wheezing. I'm quitting smoking after 8 years. Sob. History of anxiety. Cough that tastes bad. Doc says reflux

Do I have copd?! emphysema? Almost 25. Wheezing. I'm quitting smoking after 8 years. Sob. History of anxiety. Cough that tastes bad. Doc says reflux

Unlikely: Not after 8 years, even 2 packs/day.Nicotine withdrawal slows gut=>constipation=>reflux which causes wheezing. Also, healing lungs eject retained smoky mucous from deep down that tastes bad ; increases wheeze. Anxiety worsens, too. If it helps, it all happened to me when I quit 2 packs/day for 9yrs. It's temporary. Drink lots of fluids, rest. Treat wheezing/reflux if needed. You're so worth it. ...Read more

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I'm 25, can I already be getting COPD or emphysema from smoking?

Maybe: If you are a heavy smoker emphysema can occur at an early age (less than 35). There is also a genetic disease called Alpha one antitrypsin deficiency that can cause emphysema to develop at any early age. If concerned you should seek medical evaluation. ...Read more

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Does smoking directly cause lung scarring? Quit after 25 years mild scarring left low lobe no asthma or COPD what is probability scarring will stop?

Does smoking directly cause lung scarring? Quit after 25 years mild scarring left low lobe no asthma or COPD what is probability scarring will stop?

Scar is permanent: Scars are generally permanent. Smoking causes injury which goes on to heal with scar. Given the level of anxiety that you re experiencing over this condition, I would recommend that you schedule a consultation with a pulmonologist to fully answer your questions and allay your fears. ...Read more

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Quit smoking dec. 2012. Had a few cigs in between. Total pack years is 23. What are my risks of lung cancer in my 40's? 50's? 60's? Currently have wheezing, 3yrs ago pulm. Told me have early emphysema.

Quit smoking dec. 2012. Had a few cigs in between. Total pack years is 23. What are my risks of lung cancer in my 40's? 50's? 60's? Currently have wheezing, 3yrs ago pulm. Told me have early emphysema.

20 years to normal: Cancer risk returns to normal only 20 years after stopping smoking.

Congratulations on having stopped. Cancer or no cancer, being able to breath is something we often don't fully appreciate until it is lost. ...Read more

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Quit smoking 12/9/12, 23 pack years. Occasionally still bring up brown speckled phlegm. Most times it is clear. Chest xray normal. Mild emphysema. Normal?

Quit smoking 12/9/12, 23 pack years. Occasionally still bring up brown speckled phlegm. Most times it is clear. Chest xray normal. Mild emphysema. Normal?

Not really: It is surprising that you have emphysema with your limited smoking history. You might have a genetic predisposition to have lung problems, or you might actually have asthma. ...Read more

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My lungs are damaged from cancer treatment 12 years ago, Been smoking cigs for 9, my asthma treatment has not been helping lately could it be copd?

My lungs are damaged from cancer treatment 12 years ago, Been smoking cigs for 9, my asthma treatment has not been helping lately could it be copd?

Lung damage: Why are doing this to yourself? You know the answer perfectly. Smoking is not the answer to anything and it will worsen your asthma, lung damage, restriction or copd. Whatever you want to call it. ...Read more

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I m only 29 n suspect I have copd. Am I too young to get it? Smoking about 10 years but only social for the first 5

See your doc/ tests: Can't tell without a good exam and maybe some pulmonary function tests. The good news is - if you quit now, in 10 years your lungs are generally considered "back to normal". Please try to cut back and/or quit... It will only be harder later if you go nothing now. Good luck! ...Read more

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Is it possible to get COPD from 2 years of smoking?

Highly unlikely: Unless your lungs are very sensitive to the harmful effects of cigarette smoke, it is quite unlikely to develop COPD after 2 years of smoking.

That said, I would quit smoking even if you have been smoking for 2 hours. It is harmful, dangerous, and causes a whole host of health problems.

And...It is expensive. ...Read more

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Copd, I have been diagnosed with COPD and it was attributed to my smoking over 20 years ago. I thought your lungs recovered over time?

Sorry: Unfortunately the lung does not recover and our lung function will deteriorate with aging whether you're a smoker or not. ...Read more

Dr. Stephen Scholand
1 Doctor shared a insight

Copd (Definition)

COPD may include chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both. Chronic bronchitis is the production of increased mucus caused by inflammation. Bronchitis is considered chronic if you cough and produce excess mucus most days for three months in a year, two years in a row. Emphysema is a disease that damages the air sacs and/or the smallest breathing tubes in the lungs. ...Read more


Dr. Dean Giannone
1,109 Doctors shared insights

Smoking Cessation (Definition)

Smoking any tobacco product is harmful to your baby, including "light" cigarettes, cigars (and marijuana). Like any addiction, quitting tobacco is difficult, especially if you are acting alone. Most smokers find it hard to break all the habits or ties they've built into their lives around smoking. Quitting smoking does reduce a number of ...Read more