Stopping Smoking Will Reduce Inflammation
Dear Dr. Mahler:
Is it possible after stopping smoking and following doctors orders to go from moderate to mild copd in a year? Is it detrimental to a copd patient to live in a basement apartment- 5 steps down? The furnace is not in the apartment.
Ken from Richmond, VA
Yes, if you stop smoking, the inflammation in your breathing tubes (airways) will be reduced and your lung function (results of breathing tests) will improve. How much is hard to say. Also, it is likely that your breathing tubes will produce less mucus because the irritation from smoking cigarettes will have stopped.
The categories of mild (FEV1 > 80% predicted) and moderate (FEV1 50 – 80% predicted) COPD are based on specific values on breathing tests. If you have stopped smoking, I congratulate you and encourage you not to smoke again. If you are still smoking, it is important that you stop completely to prevent worsening (progression) of your COPD.
I am not aware that living in a basement apartment is bad for your breathing. Certainly, you want to breathe as much fresh air as possible.
Donald A. Mahler, M.D.