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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Suggest ways to diagnose COPD

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Dr. Shashi Dangwal

Pulmonologist

Practicing since :1979

Answered : 1126 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 11 Aug 2014 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: Approximately 8 years ago I was taken to the hospital with labored breathing. An ER doctor who had never seen me nor had copies of my medical records stated I had COPD (because I use to smoke more than 10 years prior to that visit. ) My regular doctor prescribed Advair Disk Inhaler and a Pro air rescue inhaler to be taken the rest of my life. I am now 68 and have taken this medication since I was 57. On a recent visit to my primary care physician I ask if I should be referred to a specialist because I had never taken a breathing test. My doctor said no and I cannot personally make an appointment to see a pulmonary specialist without his referral. I am confused as to why? I thought your lungs was one of the few organs that could heal themselves.
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Answered by Dr. Shashi Dangwal 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Impress on your doctor your keeness and need to v

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXXXX,

Thanks for posting your query on HCM.

Diagnosis of COPD is normally made on the basis of symptoms and history of smoking. You may have been a reformed smoker but you can still develop COPD. After smoking cessation, though further damage to the lungs may stop but the damage that has already occurred heals very gradually and in some, the lung function may never come back to normal.

Having said that, I`m of the opinion that when the diagnosis of COPD was made, the ER doctor or your regular doctor should have asked for a spirometry(breathing test) or should have referred you to a pulmonologist to know your lung function and to confirm the diagnosis.

I feel that with continued absence and regular treatment your lung function may have improved considerably. I`m not aware of the medical practices in your part of the world but I feel if you desire to consult a specialist and want a particular test, you should not be denied that as it`s your basic right and freedom of choice. I can only suggest that you should again impress on your doctor your keeness and need to visiting a specialist.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Shashi Dangwal 12 hours later
Is chronic broncitus also blamed on smoking since it also falls under the umbrella of COPD ?
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Answered by Dr. Shashi Dangwal 16 hours later
Brief Answer:
Yes, chronic bronchitis is one of the two diseases

Detailed Answer:

Yes, chronic bronchitis is one of the two diseases grouped under COPD, other being Emphysema and smoking has been proved to be the cause for it beyond doubts.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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