New therapies have increased the likelihood of a longer life with cystic fibrosis (CF).
A few decades ago, it was not common for children diagnosed with CF to live past grade school. With medical advances, life expectancy then increased to early college ages. Now people with CF are living, on average, to at least age of 40. The most common complication that individuals with cystic fibrosis face is lung infections. Also the decrease in lung function.
Early detection is the number one most important thing when it comes to having the kind of life that’s oozing with high quality experiences. There has to be close monitoring and a detailed treatment plan needs to be put into action. There are several therapies and life style changes that have proven to be effective.
Lung therapies consist of several different things:
- Inhalers that help open the airway.
- DNAse therapy, which helps clear the mucous that is in the lungs. The mucous with cystic fibrosis patients has lots of DNA. This medication attaches to the DNA and breaks it down, therefore it breaks down the mucous overall. The break down of the mucous helps coughs become more productive. This medication comes in aerosol form.
- Inhaling a mist that has a high salt concentration helps break down mucous as well.
- Flu and bacterial vaccines can absolutely be a life saver.
- Oxygen therapy is also an option as well as a lung transplant.
- One thing that has become more available are percussion vests but also just manual chest percussion is also beneficial.
Cystic Fibrosis also requires you to eat a high fat and protein diet. Eventually, taking a pancreatic enzyme will be needed to aid in the absorption and digestion. Supplementing vitamins A, D, E, and K with a multivitamin is also important. Use of an anti-constipation medication has been proven to be effective.
There are also some lifestyle changes that have to be made when living with cystic fibrosis. Lung irritants need to be avoided such smoke, household chemicals, mold, and mildew. Also, keeping hydrated is very important. Especially in hot weather and while participating in physical activity. Exercise has also been proven to help with cystic fibrosis.
Making changes for a better qualify of life are sometimes difficult. But having a great quality of life is just as important to me as the quantity of life.