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confusing diagnosis

It is not clear from my doctors report whether I have emphysema or reversible asthma because both are mentioned. I have medication for asthma. I am very confused. Anyone else experienced this?


  1. Hi cardboard, and thanks for your post. While I am hopeful others in the community will see your post and respond by sharing their own personal anecdotal experiences, I have something to contribute as well.
    It's understandable if the report (from your physician), has mentioned both emphysema and asthma, that you might not be clear as to what your definitive diagnosis is. This can be more complicated since it would appear the medication you have been given is for treatment of asthma, based on what you've shared with us here.
    Some folks may actually be diagnosed with both COPD and asthma - that is also a possibility.
    My suggestion would be for you to make an appointment with the physician (if you haven't as yet), and discuss your concerns at length and in detail. The doctor will be able to provide you with a diagnosis (or diagnoses), as well as a plan for treatment and the necessary medication. That way, you will have a better understanding of your current medical condition(s).
    What do you think?
    Leon (site moderator asthma.net)

    1. Thank you for answering. I have an appointment booked but not until September. I don't have a cough, or phlegm just the breathlessness. Two weeks into the medication and for now, the breathlessness has virtually disappeared. I am wondering therefore just what to make of this diagnosis.

      1. the waiting can be so anxiety-inducing! I know that all too well. I'm glad to hear that you have been getting some relief from your symptoms! As Leon mentioned, there is a lot of overlap (from my understanding and education myself) and a lot of the medications used to treat one can work for the other, too. There is always a lot to process when you receive a new diagnosis, so thank you for bringing this to the conversation. You aren't alone! -Corinne, moderator


      2. Hi again, cardboard, and thanks for your reply and further explanation. It's good to hear the medication has been so effective that the breathlessness has improved considerably. As my colleague, , has said - it can be challenging to wait for your upcoming appointment (in September), but at least you are breathing a lot easier while you wait.
        I am hopeful the doctor will be able to provide you with clarification for the diagnoses that have been somewhat confusing.
        I will wish you 'good luck!' and ask that you please check back and let us know how this all turns out for you. Of course, should you want to continue the conversation about this or, anything else asthma related, you can count on us to be here for you.
        Warm regards,
        Leon (site moderator asthma.net)

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