Home Blowing Bubbles Test For COPD & Emphysema (Video).

I have seen thousands of patients with emphysema through my decade of hospitalist work.    Most of these smokers wish they would have quit smoking decades before their devastating disease consumed their every waking moment. Most patients probably had no idea of an easy home test for emphysema they could take to determine if they had evidence of this crippling disease. I take every opportunity I have to give patients and their smoking families my quit smoking lecture.  Smoking cessation codes will even pay you for your efforts.

Many smokers worry about lung cancer from their smoking.  They should be more worried what life is like with COPD or emphysema.    Imagine what it feels like to be drowning.  Now imagine having that sensation with every breath.  If you're a smoker, it's time to get prepared for 2014.  In addition to age and the number of participants in your health insurance policy, smoking/tobacco use is the only other factor that health insurance companies can use to charge you more starting in 2014 ObamaCare .  And charge they will.  A lot.  You're going to see gut wrenching premium increases from the Affordable Care Act America asked for and received.  If you're a smoker, you're going to pay the price for your actions.

COPD and emphysema prevent patients from fully exhaling all the air they inhale by causing  air trapping in the lungs.  To give you an idea of what it's likes to have emphysema, take a full breath and exhale completely.  Now, inhale just a a fraction of your breath.  That's the sensation  of a full inspiration for a patient with COPD or emphysema.  Now exhale and take another full breath.   You'll notice there isn't much more you can exhale.  Now imagine breathing like that all day long with just this small window of respiration.

Our 19 month old Zachary recently tried blowing bubbles.  As you can see in this video below, he hasn't quite mastered the how to of bubble blowing yet.  However, watching this video and watching his breaths should give you an idea of what having emphysema is like.  I call it the bubble test.  Folks with advanced or end stage emphysema and COPD don't have the expiratory force to move air.  Their breaths are trapped in their lungs. That's why they have retained carbon dioxide and that's why ordering arterial blood gases are so important when evaluating a patient with emphysema.

Are you wondering if you have emphysema?  Try this easy at home bubble blowing test to see if your breaths have enough force to blow bubbles.  Alternatively, you can try to blow out some candles.   Our son doesn't have emphysema.  He has 19 month old lungs under normal development.  But, if you're a smoker and don't find a way to quit smoking, you will likely gasp your way into your golden years filled with immeasurable pain and suffering.  Quit smoking today and give yourself and your family the best Christmas present ever.

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