Stopping Smoking – Will My COPD Go from Moderate to Mild?

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 
 Dear Ken:
 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.
Reminder for Stopping Smoking

Reminder for Stopping Smoking

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.

Donald A. Mahler, M.D. is Emeritus Professor of Medicine at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire. He works as a pulmonary physician at Valley Regional Hospital in Claremont, NH, where he is Director of Respiratory Services.