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Avatar universal

Just told I had mild Emphysema...freakin out

I am a teacher in Korea and we have to have a medical exam. One of the things they do is a chest x-ray. I did not find out directly from a doctor, but the report they gave my boss apparently said I have emphysema. According to my boss they said it was nothing to worry about.

But everything I've read said I should be worried and I'm kind of freaking out a little over it. I won't have health insurance for another month to do a follow up on it.

I have a few questions. 1. how reliable would an x-ray be in making a diagnosis? I've read different things. 2. Would they really tell me it was nothing to worry about? If it was really bad, I would not have allowed me to teach, because it would be a drain on Korea healthcare.

2. Can it be something else? I was in an accident 5 years ago and had damage to my chest, a lung collapsed. Could that be mistaken on the xray for emphysema?

3. I am getting married soon. I'm not sure what is going on with it. How long will I live if I do have it? I've Googled it and the life expectancy is all over the place... some say you can live a normal life to old age others say 4 or 5 years.

any advice you can give would be most appreciated.

Thank you.
4 Responses
Avatar universal
I would like to add, I stopped smoking back in 1999 and I an 41 years old. I exercise a lot (ardio, core, yoga) and walk to and from work (30 minutes each way) everyday. I don't feel out of breath or winded from walking.

Thanks
757137 tn?1347196453
An ordinary chest x-ray would not be sufficiently reliable for a diagnosis of what is, apparently, mild emphysema. And you have no symptoms that you are aware of....
978469 tn?1433547946
In other words, they are saying you have mild COPD. When my father when for a CT scan (he had stomach cancer) the results mentioned dmild COPD, it was a surprise.
I believe the only way the X-Ray would show it is if your lungs are hyper inflated with barreling of the chest. Only a CT scan can be sure.
757137 tn?1347196453
Since you have no symptoms it is entirely possible that the diagnoses is wrong. However, if you want to be sure, then visit a pulmonologist to get tested. There is, however, a simple test you can do yourself. Get a peak flow meter. These are inexpensive and can be found on the internet, but I don't know if you can get one in Korea. I uses one made by "Assess." You blow into it and it tells you how you score compared to norms of men your age and height. Because I have emphysema I have one of these meters. Most people with lung problems use them.
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