Has anyone else been diagnosed with COPD after COVID?

Posted by bentleyoakguy @bentleyoakguy, Jun 13 8:28pm

Howdy,

I'm a 52 year old guy that was diagnosed with COVID on May 6th. I also tested positive for antibodies in Fall 2020. I'm not / nor have I ever been a smoker. I have no history of Asthma, but my mom has COPD (stage 2). After 2 weeks of rather mild covid (no breathing issues / fever) I developed what the urgent care dr told me was acute bronchitis. We started me on prednisone, Mucinex, and promethazine DM for cough. After a week, I had to go back and got another round of prednisone and Albuterol. I followed up with primary care and she prescribed Trelegy and said that this is likely Post Covid / COPD.

I'm having shortness of breath, wheezing, and cough with a little mucus. I'm being told to stay on meds and wait 3 months. I'm extremely down after fighting this for 6 weeks and now getting COPD on the table. I have asked for a pulmonary function test but beyond that, I'm lost on how to proceed. My pulse O2 is always above 95% and in the last 2 days, I forced myself to the gym (indoor track) for a brisk 2 miles, which I can do without exhaustion.

Does this scenario resonate with anyone? Is anyone else diagnosed with COPD after COVID? I'm staying on the primary Dr for a pulmonary function test to see what is going on with my lungs and get a baseline (sorry I'm an engineer and must have data).

Thanks for reading.

Jay

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Post-COVID Recovery & COVID-19 group.

Are you seeing a Pulmonologists for the COPD? They can work along with your primary for the COVID, but I would definitely see a doctor that specializes in lungs. My husband has COPD and works with both type of doctors.

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If you're recovering from Covid, it's important not to push yourself to do aerobic activity. Covid can cause mitochondrial dysfunction that interferes with energy production by your cells. Pushing yourself to do aerobic activity will be counterproductive. Light resistance exercise is better tolerated.

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I had been diagnosed with Asthma after covid and had to do breathing treatments. I had it under control for years without medications. My doctors tried different medication which none helped.

After my procedure for hiatal hernia (caused by covid), and a trip to the ER 2 days after surgery, I noticed I was able to breath normal with my lungs for 3 days after being on oxygen. Instead of breathing through my diaphragm. After discussing this with my primary doctor (who is an internal specialist), he said we should try a different type of medicine that may help with my allergies and help with my breathing. It has helped alot. I still get short of breath, but I don’t have to use a rescue inhaler.

I still can not be as active as I was before Covid, but I can do small steps in anything I need to do, or pay for it afterwards.

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I would not assume that you have COPD. It can only be diagnosed through vigorous lung function testing, scans (usually CT) in some cases, and blood testing as rarely COPD can be genetic. I am 57 and developed horrible breathing issues post Covid. I’ve had every imaginable test and we are treating it as asthma and I’ve improved greatly, but very slowly over time. Exercise has helped immensely and you may need to be more patient.

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@otter2154

I would not assume that you have COPD. It can only be diagnosed through vigorous lung function testing, scans (usually CT) in some cases, and blood testing as rarely COPD can be genetic. I am 57 and developed horrible breathing issues post Covid. I’ve had every imaginable test and we are treating it as asthma and I’ve improved greatly, but very slowly over time. Exercise has helped immensely and you may need to be more patient.

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I have been reading up on this and agree. While they have me on meds for COPD (Trelegy and Albuterol) that doesnt mean (in my mind) I have it. I am continuing to push for either a pulmonary function test and/or a pulmonary consult. Patience is not my strong suite but I get the "general" idea. 🙂

Thank you.

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@bentleyoakguy

I have been reading up on this and agree. While they have me on meds for COPD (Trelegy and Albuterol) that doesnt mean (in my mind) I have it. I am continuing to push for either a pulmonary function test and/or a pulmonary consult. Patience is not my strong suite but I get the "general" idea. 🙂

Thank you.

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Trelegy is also a common asthma treatment. I’ve been on it for a bit over a year and my pulmo team assures me I do not have COPD (just Covid related asthma). I’m weaning off of it now as I am doing better. They told me could take 1-2 years for my lungs to fully recover.

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@jwilson69002

Are you seeing a Pulmonologists for the COPD? They can work along with your primary for the COVID, but I would definitely see a doctor that specializes in lungs. My husband has COPD and works with both type of doctors.

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I am not as of yet. My family Dr wants to wait 3 months and see what pans. I really wished she had not thrown around COPD and then told me to wait. I am pushing to get a pulmonary consult.

Thanks,

Jay

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Why wait 3 months? If you go to a pulmonary doctor and you don't have COPD, hurrah! But if you do, sooner treatment is better and will give you some relief.

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I got in with an allergy and asthma doc who tested my breathing. My numbers looked good and the shape of the graphs was consistent. My FEV1/FVC number was .80 which I was told rules out COPD. So the "official" diagnosis was Long COVID / Covid-induced Asthma. I'm getting allergen (scratch) testing this week to see what the triggers might be. I will continue with my Trelegy and rescue inhaler for the next 4 months and re-evaluate with my Dr. Interestingly, I found out that in adults over 30, asthma can be triggered after coming down with a virus. Thanks, COVID, 🙂

But in all seriousness, I am not unhappy with this development. I was really worried about the COPD.

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My story is much the same. I had weird chest pains so I went to my local hospital ER. They put me in the hospital for observation due to my age and cardiac risk factors. Everyone was tested in the hospital and though I had no symptoms I had Covid. I was shocked because I’m so careful. An X-ray indicated I had hyper inflated lungs consistent with COPD. When I went home I started walking in my house and finally got out and walked my usual two miles each day, then I had an asthma flare and when I walked it felt like I was breathing through cheese cloth. My oxygen was 98. So I got an appointment with Mayo. I had the pulmonary function test with my FRC below normal but all other numbers were good compared to last year’s test. A couple of weeks later I had a ct scan and was seen by a pulmonologist. I had a normal ct scan. It took me four months from having Covid but walking my two miles is now more enjoyable.

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@otter2154

I would not assume that you have COPD. It can only be diagnosed through vigorous lung function testing, scans (usually CT) in some cases, and blood testing as rarely COPD can be genetic. I am 57 and developed horrible breathing issues post Covid. I’ve had every imaginable test and we are treating it as asthma and I’ve improved greatly, but very slowly over time. Exercise has helped immensely and you may need to be more patient.

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How long did it take you ? @otter2154 ?
Yes, very slow and symptoms up and down. I am also very impatient and was always on the go, hard to relax, rest and recover.

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@lenchiksf

How long did it take you ? @otter2154 ?
Yes, very slow and symptoms up and down. I am also very impatient and was always on the go, hard to relax, rest and recover.

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Yeah the good / bad day inconsistency is enough to drive you nuts. My plan is to get my allergy scratch test and see what my triggers might be, take my trelegy and albuterol and start walking at my rec centers indoor track. Those are all things I can control. Everything else is out of my hands. 🙁

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