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Emphysema, acute broncial infection - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Infections
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 3632 Questions
User :   I went to the dr's 2 weeks ago because i was having a hard time getting a good breath for about a month, worse with activity. She said i had an acute broncial infection and perscribed 10 days of antibiotics. She also said that some previous x-ray that I had on file (i was never shown it) showed early stages of emphysema....and ordered some new chest x-rays. She gave me a script for an inhailer that I'm supposed to use every 4 hours. I am a 31yr old female, and my main question is......can a Dr. really diagnose emphysema just by looking at a previous x-ray without any other testing?
Doctor :   Hi
Doctor :   I am Dr
User :   hello
Doctor :   I am reading and give me a minute

User :   okay
Doctor :   Emphysema can be a suspicion on seeing an Xray
Doctor :   Of course the gold standard way of diagnosiing it is by Spirometry and lung biopsy
Doctor :   The treatment remains the same, taking inhaled bronchodilators
Doctor :   If there is a supersceding infection the problem multiplies
User :   i do feel like i can breath better since using the inhaler.....
User :   but its a daunting diagnosis to recieve at age 31
Doctor :   I still say it is not confirmed
Doctor :   diagnosis
Doctor :   It is just a suspicion or a differential
Doctor :   Do you smoke?
User :   yes, but been cutting back for 5 months now. currently only 2-3 cigs a day.
User :   hope to be some free by the end of the week
User :   smoke free
Doctor :   Ok, Smoking has made her suspect
User :   i have a dr appt in mid august...
Doctor :   Can you send me a the copy of Xray?
User :   what should i ask this dr to do to confirm this diagnosis?
Doctor :   Next step is spirometry?
Doctor :   Which increases the suspicion
User :   i don't have the x-ray, and i have not even been shown it
User :   in august the dr will have my new x-rays to compare to the older ones (taken 2 wks ago), might that help?
Doctor :   Do you have a family history of any chest disease
User :   my father has heart probs.......3 heart attacks since age 55. my mom hade a mild stroke at age 47
Doctor :   Ok, a good chest examination and chest Xray is sufficient to funnel out a diff diagnosis
Doctor :   But a spirometry for lung function tests
Doctor :   are advised
Doctor :   I hope that makes things clear
User :   yes thank you
Doctor :   The family history has no relations as explained by you
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