Even though cystic fibrosis cannot be cured yet, the disease can be treated much more effectively than used to be the case. Ideally, those affected should contact a specialist centre, where a team of doctors, nursing staff, psychosocial carers, dieticians and physiotherapists work to find the suitable therapies for the patient.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic defect that affects various organs. Treatment that addresses the causes, e.g. using gene therapy, is not yet routinely used but is underway. Research into new and improved therapies is focused on restoring the damaged channels in the cell membrane, supporting mucus loosening and controlling the inflammation and infection.
In recent years many new medications have been launched, such as greatly improved digestive enzymes and antibiotics. Along with physiotherapy and inhalation, these medications help to greatly improve the quality of life of patients.
Those affected have recurrent infections that cause permanent damage to the tissue of the lungs. This is why doctors rely on targeted control of infectious germs. Usually inhaled antibiotics are administered for long-term treatment.
Inhalation therapy has the advantage that medications are delivered to the airways quickly and directly. As well as classic expectorants, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications or medications that expand the bronchial tubes are used where necessary.
Learning special breathing techniques is very important. This allows patients to cough up the thick mucus much more effectively. In addition, doctors recommend regular physical exercise such as running, cycling or dancing.
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