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Do I Have Asthma or COPD…

After a very severe asthma attack that landed me in ER, I was referred to a pulmonologist for a lung function test.

COPD diagnosis

To my surprise, a week later I was told I had COPD. This was a shock….she gave me a 30 day supply of Wixela and ten days in, I developed a sore throat, tongue, gums, and roof of mouth were hoarse and my voice began changing.

Side effects

I read the side-effects of medication and bingo! I called my doctor and was advised to quit taking the medication for 5-7 days and by the third day without taking it, most of my above symptoms had vanished. The doctor told me to use my rescue inhaler and nebulizer until December 5 which is when my next appointment is scheduled for.

Is it asthma or COPD?

Is it ok to do this and do I have severe asthma or COPD? I am confused a little bit by her cavalier response or is this a normal one on her part? Thanks for any input anyone can give me, I feel a bit uncomfortable about it all.

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Comments

  • HITE1955
    3 months ago

    2015 November 25 — 26 @ about 2:30 AM, EST, I thought was an ASTHMA ATTACK, I was suffering from BRONCHITIS due to a cold. During the Nite, couldn’t CATCH My BREATH or BREATHE!!!! The NURSE had to call the EMERGENCY DOCTOR to ORDER a CONCENTRATOR With a NEBULIZER, I have TILL this Day!! I had to have 2 X – RAYS, 1 before DuoNeb Nebuliser Treatments, every 6 HOURS, for about 5 Days, and Another X -RAY To SEE, If, had FLUID in My LUNGS, still, but ALL CLEAR. Had the CONCENTRATOR and NEBULISER PRN For 2 Years.

    Then 2 Years Ago, I was suggested to go see a PULMONOLOGIST, that SPECIALIZES in SLEEP APNEA and CHRONIC LUNG DISEASES, such as ASTHMA & COPD.

    I went for My FIRST POLYSOMINOGRAPHY ( sp ) — SLEEP STUDY, on 2017 AUGUST 08 — 09 — @ 8:00 PM, EST – Till – 5:00 AM, EST.
    My AHI was 131 to 136 APNEA EVENTS PER HOUR, with an AIRWAY BLOCKAGE of 95%!!!!
    Put on CPAP @ 8cmH2O, I received My FIRST APAP, Named: “EARL E. Jr. “ Philips Respironics REMstarAUTO | M -Series | A-Flex — 2017 AUG 14, used FIRST the time: 2017 Aug 16 — Circa: 2007 – Replaced due to Mechanical Problems: 2018 MARCH 16, the 2nd was a BiPAP — “ WARREN “ ResMed S7 – Series — VPAP III — 2005 OCTOBER 10 – Received Him On 2018 Mar 16, My CURRENT BiPAP “ KREED “ ResMed VAuto S9 / S — 2314 – The 3rd Week Of FEB 2014 – Received Him On 2019 AUG 20!!
    EPAP: 4cmH2O
    IPAP: 8cmH2O
    I hope I have These Pressure Values Labeled correctly too!!

    Then before 2017 November 16Th, when I went to My PULMONOLOGIST , I believe was on 2017 Nov 7, which have I forgotten the DATE, of My LUNG FUNCTION TEST, I cannot Spell correctly Spirotrty ( sp ) to find out the severity of My COPD and if, ASTHMA is included. He used an ALBUTEROL MDI INHALER during My Test, which IMPROVED My Test Results.

    What’s this,LUNG FUNCTION TEST called?
    What’s the MAJOR DIFFERENCE between ASTHMA & COPD?

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    3 months ago

    Hi again, HITE1955, and thanks for sharing your extensive medical history with our online community. We appreciate your candor and attention to detail as well.

    To answer your question about a pulmonary function test (PFT), I thought this article would provide you with more insight: https://asthma.net/living/pulmonary-function-testing-to-diagnose-asthma/.

    As for your expressed concern about the differences between asthma and COPD, I thought this article would provide you with some answers: https://asthma.net/living/asthma-vs-copd-diagnosis/.
    I do hope you find them to be helpful.

    Wishing you well,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    3 months ago

    Hi again, HITE1955, and it’s our pleasure. Glad to hear you are going to look at both referenced articles. I hope they prove to be helpful for you. All the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • HITE1955
    3 months ago

    @leon-lebowitz, I thankyou, now I remember when I MET My PULMONOLOGIST, It was I had the SPIROMETRY, on 2017 November 16.
    I will look @ BOTH LINKS.

  • HITE1955
    3 months ago

    ThankYou @leon-lebowitz, Would You POST this REPLY, as a COMPLEAT STORY about My ASTHMA and COPD over on My HITE1955; https://COPD.net/members/HITE1955 ,PROFILE?!

    I give You this, My PERMISSION, so, I this will HELP Me UPDATE It.

    ThankYou Again!!
    HITE1955

  • HITE1955
    3 months ago

    I forgot to mention I have 39% of My LUNGS, as of 2017 November 16Th, need a NEW one find out CURRENT STATUS.

  • VioletVixen author
    3 months ago

    Dave….hear you…for every stroke, there’s a strike it seems….have been off ALL meds past 3 weeks and pumonologist said to just use Ventolin and albuterol nebulizer if I started wheezing….guess what….no nothing…..am ecstatic that maybe its just situational and I was hastily misdiagnosed….go back this Thur December 5 and am optimistic……think you are wise to be concerned about past liver problems…we do have to be our own advocates, so speak up…sometimes the treatment is worse health-wise than the disease imo….good luck Dave!

  • Davo
    3 months ago

    Hi,I’m a66 yr old male ,I have been diagnosed with emphasemia and onset asthma ,I am on ultibro Inca a day ,2 months ago my dr put me on pulmicort turbohaler cortasteroid inhaler ,IV noticed that I am now overweight especially on stomach area so much so that I feel more shortness of breath especially on exertion ,I’m worried that stomach could be crowding my lungs making breathing worse ,my GP is on holiday until next week so I have decided to stop taking the pulmicort ,to see if my stomach goes down a bit ,I live in the middle of bush fire area so smoke in the air is major problem plus heatwave conditions lately,,dr originally put me on pulmicort because he thought I was useing my Ventolin too often ,was hard not to use it with all the smoke about ,also I noticed on packet of pulmicort mentions to avoid if any liver issues,I completed hep C treatment a year ago now no virus but I wonder if having the liver disease for over 40 yrs may put me in the category of having liver problems and maybe I should not have been prescribed pulmicort..thankyou sorry bout the long rave any ideas greatly appreciated.

  • wenweb
    3 months ago

    This is a great topic! My asthma responds to medications that are (now) recommended for COPD. Part of the reason is that the LABA’s which came onto the asthma scene in the mid 90’s are no longer recommended for asthma. These are however the medications that work for my asthma. So when I went to the ER (my first time ever) for a out of control asthma attack, the question of whether I had COPD or asthma was brought up. Long story short, there was not enough evidence to say I had COPD and I have not been diagnosed with it, I still respond to COPD medications.

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    3 months ago

    Hi wenweb, and thanks for joining in the conversation here and sharing your particular situation with the community. We appreciate your input here. All the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    3 months ago

    Hi VioletVixen and thanks for this post. It’s understandable that you might feel a little confused, especially if the physician was somewhat cavalier about your present situation. Although we cannot provide medical advice or diagnostics over the internet (for your own safety), your concerns certainly warrant a reply.
    It is, in fact, possible to have both COPD and asthma. I thought this article on that very topic might clarify some of your concerns: https://asthma.net/living/asthma-subgroups-asthma-copd-overlap-syndrome-acos/.
    You may want to prepare for your upcoming December 5 visit, by preparing a list of questions for the doctor to answer for you. This may help you to have a better understanding of your specific condition and how it is treated.
    If you don’t mind, please do check back and let us know how it all turns out. In the meantime, you are always welcome here in our online community. Warm regards, Leon (site moderator)

  • VioletVixen author
    3 months ago

    Dear Leon….how can I ever thank you for this invaluable information…never heard of ACOS and this explained a lot to me about my current state….I have never, ever smoked but do engage in vaping (as in Albuterol Nebulizer)..sorry couldn’t resist that pun. I am going to print this out, then bookmark and take to pulmonologist …this is all very alien to me but feel much better knowing that there are lot of options to try. Primary doctor thought emphysema but I am too rattled by whole experience to even sort this out, but will be googling Mayo Clinic and Duke University for some clarity. Will check back after Dec 5 and once again, thank you so much Leon, am more at ease and relatively stable despite all our snow and cold temperatures…so far so good!

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    3 months ago

    Hi again, VioletVixen, and it’s our pleasure here on asthma.net. I enjoyed your pun, too – nothing like “vaping” with that trusty medicine, albuterol!!
    Whatever we can do to assist you as you prepare for the December 5 visit – we are all here ready to assist.
    Wishing you the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

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