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I have just recently found out that I have a health problem that usually smokers' get. I have NEVER smoked and have been basically a "health nut", so I am finding this hard to understand and cope with. I found out a few days ago that I have emphysema! I'm hoping that its not true, but the doctor says that is what it looks like on the x-rays of my lungs! I have to go back Saturday for more tests. She said non-smokers can get it from environmental factors and also an inherited gene. My parents DID have emphysema....my mother died from complications from it and my fathers' turned into lung cancer and he died from that. They were both heavy chain smokers. But again....I have never, ever smoked in my entire life!!! Has anyone here had anyone who has had emphysema, esp. if they didn't smoke? I am just so shocked right now, I don't know what to do!!! I'm hoping the diagnosis is wrong, and maybe its something else not so bad or devastating......
 

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My grandad had it and died from it but he smoked like a chimney. I havent come across anyone being a non smoker and having the illness.

I am so sorry for you, and I hope the doctors got it wrong, its not a nice illness as you will know :-(

Sinead xx
 

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i'm so sorry shelly :( i hope the diagnosis is wrong.

maybe non-smokers can get it from second-hand smoke? you mentioned both your parents were heavy chain smokers.

you'll be in my prayers.
 

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My mom has respiratory problems, asthma that I know of, not sure if she's got emphysema, and she never ever smoked, but my dad and all us kids did. Second hand smoke I'm thinking. It is grossly unfair and I am so sorry.

I'm also sorry for all the people I exposed to cigarette smoke before I quite 7 years ago. It's an awful thing.
 

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I didn't know that nonsmokers could get it either! :shock:

I was thinking maybe second hand smoke could have caused it? :dontknow:

I hope it can be controlled. :( Let us know what the docs say. :)
 

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Hi, I'm sorry to hear this. My Mum has empysema and is very ill with it. Funny thing is, she was fine until she had a bypass op after a heart attack 13 years ago. Soon as she came out of hospital she had this breathing problem, which the hospital said was emphysema because of the years of smoking and she also worked in a factory pressing skirts for about 40 years of her life and apparently the fibres off the material can cause emphysema. I thought that I was safe from this as, like you, I have never smoked. However, I was brought up in a household where my mother, father and three of my older brothers smoked, quite heavily too! Hope I won't have problems from passive smoking in the future.

Good luck at the hospital. :)
 

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The tests I was to take Saturday have been postponed because their machine to do the tests wasn't working!:rolleyes: Probably next week more tests will be done. I have another appointment with my regular doctor on Thursday, so we'll see what he says also. Wish me luck and I'll keep you all posted!
 
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