How long can you live with emphysema?

Discussion created by Thomas3.20.2010 on Nov 4, 2017
Latest reply on Nov 4, 2017 by elvan

I'm sharing this thread from another website: EFFORTS {Emphesema Foundation for our Right to Survive] because I'm sure many of us ask this question from time to time:


"Depends on how you progress we are all different no way to tell. I have been on oxygen since I was 56 and told I was in end stage with about 21% lung capacity I will be 74 next month and have about 15% lung capacity. Still do everything myself very very slow no heavy lifting of course. Its all up to our Lord."


"It depends.  I was first diagnosed with emphysema/COPD in my early 40s.  At that time I only got somewhat short of breath when I was walking briskly with someone and talking to him/her at the same time.

By 40 years later I  had gradually worsened to the point when I needed supplemental O2 even when just seated.  I started on the low setting of "2" 24 hours/day, since I dropped too low even during sleep.  By now, at 86, I have gradually worsened to where I use a setting pf "5", the highest this particular type of equipment can provide.

I don't really need the setting of 5 when I'm only sitting, but I'm seldom sitting for very long at a time.  I'm pretty much an up-and-down person.  So rather than changing the setting every time I get up and walk across the room, I leave it set at "5" around the clock.  I need it at that setting even when asleep; otherwise my "sats" drop too low.   And if I "graduate" to the point where the setting of 5 isn't enough for me, I will have to change to another type of equipment that provides me with higher O2 content."


"Like everything else with COPD, it is based on the individual. I was diagnosed in 1987 and am now on 5 L of oxygen and 6 w/exercise. No lung surgeries or hospitalizations yet.  That makes 30 years for me. I am a 79 y/o/f. I am still able to walk, but get winded easily, do some housework and basically enjoy life.  Good luck to you.  You will find this website a treasure chest of information and support. You really can trust these folks at EFFORTS. Honest."


You can work very hard at being sick or you can work very hard at being as well as possible - the difference is Quality Life! You can empower yourself to Live Well - make the decision!


EFFORTS - Introduction and Membership in EFFORTS