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Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) Message Board
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:27 AM   #1
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Struggling to Breathe

I am only 20 years of age. I have been smoking cigarettes properly for the last 3.5years. Before then I was a social smoker, and my smoking was limited to one night a week where I'd probably smoke more than half a box. For the last year I've been smoking tobacco, without proper filters. For the last month, every morning I get up and cough a lot. This is nothing new, nor is the lumps of brown stuff in the phlegm I cough up. What scares me is that I've started coughing so hard in these morning coughs that I struggle to breathe. Could it be the beginnings of Emphysema even though I am so young? 6 months ago I developed a Friction Rub in my right lung but I didn't have pneumonia and all Tuberculosis tests came back negative. The friction rub healed eventually and I continued to smoke. Sometimes I still feel a sharp ache where it used to be but it never lasts. I am trying to quit smoking, obviously. But can emphysema start at this age?

 
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Old 07-11-2012, 03:34 AM   #2
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Re: Struggling to Breathe

It is more likely your coughing spells are from bronchial spasm, like asthma. It would be unusual to develop emphysema from one year of smoking. The friction rub could have been from pleurisy and that causes pain as well. It occurs in people who smoke, as well as in other conditions. Asthma can lead to emphysema, so quitting is a must. I also responded to your post about weight loss, and if you quit smoking, you'll probably gain some weight. You can use the money you spend on cigarettes for food instead- a win-win for you.

 
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Old 09-10-2012, 07:10 PM   #3
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Re: Struggling to Breathe

Hi, I used to have the same symptoms. They started when I was about 30, I went to my GP and was treated for asthma. I had smoked for substantially longer than you however. I would suggest that you go to your GP and have them test your Lung Function - a simple breathing test. This will tell you whether or not your lungs are damaged, or not performing as they should. The benefits of this test are that if there is a problem, you can get treated now, rather than take antibiotics or some other drug, which is not treating the real problem. I unfortunately did not know about this test until it was too late, by the time I was 38 I had Chronic COPD and was given 5 years to live without lung transplant. Please be aware that you do not need to smoke to get this disease, apparently our family has a genetic weakness that can also lead to this disease, my mother has only a 57% lung function and has never smoked a day in her life. Please don't panic, you are young and giving up smoking would help enormously. But please see your GP as a precaution only.

 
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