The most important thing you can do if you have emphysema is to quit smoking. Quitting smoking can stop the progression of the disease and improve the functioning of your lungs. Your doctor can help you to quit smoking thru counseling and/or medication. Your doctor can prescribe medications to help you breathe, including oxygen. Rehabilitation can improve your activity level and quality of life. If you develop a lung infection, your doctor can prescribe antibiotic medications or you may need hospitalization.
Some people with advance emphysema may be candidates for surgery. Lung reduction surgery is used to remove the damaged portion of the lung. This allows the healthy portion of the lung to perform better. People with very advanced emphysema may be candidates for lung transplants. One or both lungs may be remove and replaced with donated lungs. Lung transplant surgery can improve activity levels and quality of life.
The experience of emphysema can be an emotional process for people with the condition and their loved ones. It is important that you receive support from a positive source. Some people find comfort in their family, friends, co-workers, and faith. Lung disease support groups are another good option. They can be a good source of information and support from people who understand what you are experiencing. Ask your doctor for a lung disease support group locations in your area.
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