Natural Health Nexis
This nhn Emphysema Guide includes information about Emphysema that is written primarily to help Emphysema Patients better understand their condition and the range of Emphysema treatment options that are currently available:
Emphysema Treatment - Step 1
The first, and most critical, step in treating Emphysema is to remove the source of the lung irritants that caused the disease.
For most people this means Smoking Cessation, including cessation of second-hand smoking. Clinical studies have shown that for smokers who suffer from Emphysema, complete smoking cessation prevents further loss of Lung Function above that expected due to other factors such as normal aging. Your physician can prescribe a Smoking Cessation Drug that will reduce your urge to smoke and help you quit smoking.
It is also important to avoid any exposure to other lung irritants such as dusts, irritant gases, or any form of air pollution. Clinical studies suggest that any Emphysema patient will experience positive benefits from smoking cessation "or avoidance of any other lung irritants, regardless of the stage of progression of their disease.
Currently available Emphysema Treatments include:
Corticosteroids For Treating Emphysema
Corticosteroid drugs are usually inhaled in the form of aerosol sprays to help relieve breathlessness. However, studies have shown that long-term use of Corticosteroids is associated with side-effects such as osteoporosis, elevated blood pressure, cataracts, and diabetes.
Antibiotics For Treating Emphysema
Antibiotics are commonly prescribed in order to treat bacterial infections. Your physician may therefore prescribe an antibiotic if you develop a condition such as Acute Bronchitis or Pneumonia. However, Antibiotics will not affect your Emphysema Symptoms.
Bronchodilators For Treating Emphysema
Bronchodilators are commonly prescribed to treat Asthma or Chronic Bronchitis in order to relax constricted airways and relieve symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, coughing, and breathlessness. Since most patients with Emphysema also sufer from Chronic Bronchitis, your physician may therefore prescribe a Bronchodilator, but this drug will not be effective in treating the symptoms associated with your Emphysema.
For more information on Medications see COPD Treatments
Pulmonary Rehabilitation For Treating Emphysema
According to the Mayo Clinic a program of Pulmonary Rehabilitation can be efffective in teaching Emphysema patients breathing exercises and breathing techniques to reduce breathlessness and improve ability to exercise. Typically patients are also advised about Nutrition, which may be helpful since many early-stage Emphysema patients are often overweight, whereas many late-stage patients are often underweight.
Oxygen Treatments For Emphysema
Especially following exertion, Emphysema patients with low blood oxygen levels may routinely treat themselves at home using Supplemental Oxygen Therapy. Severe Emphysema patients may even require Supplemental Oxygen Therapy 24/7.
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Some patients may be candidates for lung surgery including either removal of damaged areas or complete lung transplant.
Lung Volume Reduction In Treating Emphysema
A surgeon may remove small slices of diseased lung tissue to improve Lung Function by helping the remaining lung tissue work more efficiently.
Lung Transplantation For Treating Emphysema
Patients with very severe Emphysema may be considered candidates for Lung Transplantation when other treatment options have been unsuccesful.
See also COPD Treatments.
Emphysema Cures - Curing Emphysema
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