Date: 2006-10-21 04:36
If holding your breath caused COPD, then not only oboists, but also deep sea divers, scuba divers, snorkelers, and those Weeki Wachee mermaids would also have COPD as an occupational hazard. And I've never heard of anything like that. Playing the oboe didn't cause your COPD.
Actually, pulmonary rehabilitation therapy for COPD often includes breathing while deliberately causing back pressure in those alveoli:
Pursed-lip breathing is a type of exercise that may be helpful when people who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease overinflate their lungs during attacks of airway narrowing, panic, or exercise. It also can function as an additional breathing exercise for people undergoing respiratory training. The person is taught—or often discovers by himself—to exhale against partially closed (pursed) lips, as if preparing to whistle. This measure increases pressure in the airways and helps prevent them from collapsing. The exercise causes no ill effects, and some people adopt the habit without instruction.
And more on it here.
Exhalation must be 3-4 times longer than inhalation, so do not force the air out.
That's exactly what you're doing when you're playing an oboe--you're exhaling very, very slowly against resistance.
Playing the oboe isn't going to make your COPD worse, and it might actually help it.