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 this was determined by a Pulmonary Function Test (PFT), you can find some more details about what the PFT results mean in this article.
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. You can compare some of your symptoms about the end stages of COPD in this article—you may or may not be as bad off as you think.
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.
Ultimately, you'll want to 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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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 JorgeLA75@hotmail.com
Keep up the good work Kathy..
THanks for your time
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 !
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 email@example.com. Please feel free to contact me Thank you all.