Your CT scan may show signs of emphysema, which is a fairly common finding in people who have smoked. Emphysema is seen when the air sacs at the end of the airways become baggy so that they trap air. This may result in symptoms such as a cough or breathlessness.

You can show no symptoms for a long time, so some people may not realise they have emphysema.

It is usually smoking related, so the best way to improve your lung health is to stop smoking. The best way to quit smoking is with treatment and support. To get free support to help you stop smoking, please contact your GP surgery or your local pharmacy. If you have already stopped smoking, please do not start smoking again.

In some patients, emphysema can be related to a lung condition called COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).

Find out more information about COPD

Patients are supported in different ways based on their lung health and symptoms

Lung health and symptoms

  1. You are already using inhalers for COPD or asthma and your symptoms are well controlled.
    • Follow up: You do not need to make changes. Your check-up will be at your next routine health condition review.
  2. You are already using inhalers for COPD or asthma and you are struggling with symptoms.
    • Follow up: Speak to your GP practice.
  3. You are not on inhalers and you have symptoms like shortness of breath or lots of coughing.
    • Follow up: Speak to your GP practice.
  4. You are not on inhalers and you have no symptoms.
    • Follow up: Stopping smoking is the main way to prevent problems from happening in the future. You do not need to make other changes because treatments usually aim to control symptoms.

If you require routine follow up, you will be contacted in the next 4-6 weeks after receiving this letter to talk about your CT scan results and check any medication you are taking. Some people may be invited for a routine health check. For example, some patients may need a spirometry test. This is a test to check how much air you can breathe out in one forced breath.

Please be assured that you will be contacted if routine follow up is needed but patients are worked through in date order.