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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Emphysema Life Expectancy

08/05/2009

Question:

I am 64 years of age and was diagnosed as having COPD twelve months ago. I am currently taking as prescribed brycanyl,spiriva & symbicort. Although my condition and symptons have only slightly deteriorated since diagnosis, I would would very much appreciate an expert prognosis. (I discontinued smoking some 6 years ago). P.S. Do you think it advisable that I take all available action Re:-H1N1.

Answer:

Thank you for your question.  NetWellness receives many questions regarding prognosis and life expectancy for persons with COPD and emphysema. Although it is not possible to provide specific predictions in a forum such as this, you may find the following guidelines helpful in knowing what to expect.

Emphysema: Stages and Life Expectancy

Additionally, although we can't make determinations regarding your medications, Spiriva has been shown to be very effective for patients with COPD.  Bricanyl is another bronchodilator that works in concert with Spiriva.  Symbicort is a combination of an inhaled corticosteroid and a bronchodilator.  Have you been seen by a pulmonologist?  I would also encourage you to ask about a referral to pulmonary rehabilitation. 

In regards to the H1N1 virus: per the World Health Organization, there are NO prophylactic (preventative) medications.  The use of Tamiflu is DISCOURAGED as a preventative measure.  It is expected that the annual flu vaccine will address the H1N1; be sure to get your flu shot this fall.  If you have not had a vaccination against pneumonia, be sure to get that ASAP.


Please accept our best wishes.

For more information:

Go to the COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Gerene S Bauldoff, RN, PhD, FCCP, FAACVPR, FAAN Gerene S Bauldoff, RN, PhD, FCCP, FAACVPR, FAAN
Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University