Friday, October 31, 2014

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 Kathy Krumbine, Community Member, asks

Q: I have 30% of lung capacity left, where does that put me?

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Answers (5)
Kathi MacNaughton, Health Pro
12/31/10 4:01pm

Hi Kathy... Kathi here! Wink


I'm not sure exactly what you're asking. 30% lung capacity, as you may have guessed, is not great. It means your lungs are functioning only a third as well as a healthy person's.


If you're wondering how long someone can survive with such a lung capacity, the answer is we're just not sure. Having such low reserves means it might be very difficult for you to weather any respiratory infections. A bad cold might progress to pneumonia and do you in. On the other hand, it might not.


And if you stay otherwise healthy, you might go on for some time. The body has a remarkable ability to adapt. Sure, you might not be able to do as much or to do it without considerable effort anyway, but if you are on continuous supplemental oxygen (as I'm sure you are), it can help keep your lungs going and improve the quality of your life considerably.


I'm pretty sure my mom has been functioning at that level (or below) for quite some time now, at least a year. I didn't think she'd make it through the summer, but here we are on the brink of 2011 and she's still hanging on. Breathing gets ever more difficult, but there is something within her that keeps her fighting.


Talk with your doctor about your personal health situation. That's where you'll be able to get the most clarity, as he/she knows you and your health history.


Take care,


Andora, Community Member
12/31/10 7:04pm

Hi Kathy,


Just to let you know, I am at 26% and have been under 30% for over 5 years.  I still work full time, although I am getting ready to retire soon.  I lead a full life with work, friends, and community interests. 


We are all very different, so your progression with COPD may be very different than mine.  Just do what you can to improve your odds i.e., don't smoke, push a little each day with the exercise, and take all your meds as prescribed. 


Good luck!

mfr4, Community Member
12/20/13 10:45am



What kind of work do you do? I'm at 38% and scared. I have BOS, not COPD. It may stabilize, but I can't immagine having a semi-normal life....

I want to be alble to:

1. Climb stairs (4 flights)

2. Walk 1-2hrs +

3. Not need oxygen 


The docs don't answer my questions at all, so I have no clue.

JorgeL59, Community Member
6/24/14 5:20pm

 Hi just saw this web page. Could see people like me here (well better than me actually). I am a 55 year old male. Have had ASthma all my life. Make a long story short for the last 4 years have been told I have like 20% ling capacity.

 Since I have had ASthma all my life didn't pay too much attention to it.

 Till recently have been told that is not good.

  I see some people on here are living with 26% Lung capacity.

  I wonder if anyone could talk with me.

  My eMail is

 Keep up the good work Kathy..


  THanks for your time



dabardi, Community Member
1/ 6/11 12:02pm

Hey, I have less than that and it's been over 10 years.  I,ve been on oxygen the whole time, stopped smoking immediately after first the hospitalization, and don't work. When I first became really disabled just walking to the bathroom was almost impossible. I built up my strength by walking on the treadmill and doing things around the house despite all the offers of help.  There were 2 years recently that I didn't walk and was on Prednisone for 10 months.  I lost a good amount of my stamina.  My strength is back up from walking every morning for at least 15 min and have reached 40+ minutes quite a few times.  I do drink wine at night and I only go to the Dr. once maybe twice a year. Yes, our bodies are all different. I think I've had my best times when there is some progress in my daily life.  In the beginning, doing the dishes or cooking anything was a miracle to me.  Now, I actually laugh a lot. Changing the  sheets is still a breathless chore but that's when husbands earn their keep!

Joann Shaffer, Community Member
6/ 2/11 2:32pm

So good to read your reply. I just posted at 18% and still work also.  Have

supplemental oxygen and do my housework, slowly, and still do much of the

activities I have always done, with the exception of walking fast,tugging and

pulling very much. I find it helpful to go to a store that offers carts for shopping.

These are a lifesaver.  Also, treadmill and upper body exercises are good, too.

Thanks, Joann Shaffer

vicki kessel, Community Member
7/13/12 4:52pm

Vicki Kessel,

     Hi everyont I am at 30 %, and all of your posts give me some hope. 

 I Love to work in my Garden but have a wagon to carry my supplies. housework is a challenge, especially changing the sheets.     

     I would love to know if any of you take medication that helps in any way?

My Screen name is Please feel free to contact me Thank you all.

russwin, Community Member
9/11/12 9:51pm

I'm at 30%, & have found the best for me is lots of exercise. I swim,run & cycle, exercising every day. I completed an Ironman event in may this year, 3.8k swim, 180k bike ride & 42.2 k run, the more I do the better I feel !




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By Kathy Krumbine, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/24/14, First Published: 12/22/10