When it comes to emphysema treatment, it’s important to remember that there is no cure. However, certain treatments may help ease symptoms, slow the progression of the disease or improve the patient’s quality of life. These include medications, oxygen therapy, cellular therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation. While most traditional treatment only targets the symptoms of chronic lung diseases like emphysema, cellular therapy may help address the underlying issues causing symptoms.
First, medications like bronchodilators, inhaled steroids and antibiotics may help manage various symptoms of emphysema. Bronchodilators relax the airway, helping to reduce coughing and shortness of breath. Corticosteroid inhalers may help reduce lung inflammation and mucous, make it easier to breathe. Acute bronchitis and pneumonia are both bacterial infections common in those with emphysema and can be treated by mucolytics or antibiotics.
Breathing exercises and techniques, such as those taught in pulmonary rehabilitation, may help patients regain their breath when it’s short and breathe more deeply, increasing their blood oxygen level.
Certain dietary changes and supplements may help those with emphysema. Certain anti-inflammatory foods may improve lung function and nutritional supplements may help certain patients. It’s important to check with a doctor before undergoing any type of lifestyle change like diet or exercise.
Oxygen therapy may also help those with emphysema to breathe more easily. By boosting the blood oxygen level, oxygen therapy can also reduce fatigue and make it easier for patients to get around. Surgeries may be necessary for more severe cases. Lung volume reduction surgery involves removing diseased tissue so that healthier surrounding tissue can grow, improving general lung function. Lung transplants may also be an option for those with later-stage emphysema.
Cellular therapy may be an option that helps treat the underlying cause of emphysema rather than the symptoms themselves. Cellular therapy may help promote the growth of healthy tissue in the lungs, which may help slow the progression of emphysema and decrease the severity of symptoms. Cellular therapy involves taking blood from the patient’s body and using using selected cells to stimulate the growth of healthy tissue in the lungs.
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