When many emphysema patients ask how long they will live, it is the stage of the lung disease that plays the most important role. A lot is in the hands of the patients themselves!
Caution should always be used when making any statements about life expectancy: Such prognoses are only based on average values, which can deviate strongly in individual cases. What is true in any case, however, is that as a sufferer you yourself can significantly influence the course of the disease!
Unfavorable factors for longevity
With COPD, life expectancy drops by an average of 5-7 years. When chronic obstructive bronchitis is compounded by emphysema, prognosis worsens further.
These factors have an unfavorable effect on the course of emphysema:
- high age
- continued smoking
- Frequent episodes of the disease
- advanced stage of the disease or. a weak lung function
- Concomitant diseases such as heart failure, diabetes or osteoporosis
More accurate prognosis with lung function test
The Stage of the disease is decisive for life expectancy in pulmonary emphysema. It can be determined by a lung function test by a lung specialist.
The most important value in the lung function test is the One second breath (FEV1), That is, the maximum amount of air that can be exhaled in one second. In patients with emphysema, this value is usually well below the normal values.
The good news is: As a person affected, you can counteract the progressive loss of lung function with the help of various therapeutic measures.
Increase life expectancy in emphysema patients
1. Stop smoking
If emphysema patients continue to smoke despite the lung disease, a rapidly progressive loss of lung function is foreseeable. A Stop smoking is therefore the best measure to increase the prognosis in emphysema.
2. Follow therapy
Generally speaking, it is important to implement the therapy as prescribed by your pulmonary specialist. Find out about the various treatment options in the article "What treatment helps with emphysema??"
Especially when taking medication, emphysema patients should strictly follow the doctor’s instructions. With inhaled medications, proper inhalation technique is important to ensure that the active ingredient reaches the airways. Discuss any problems or side effects with the doctor first before stopping a drug on your own.
3. Exercise strength and endurance
Plenty of exercise strengthens lung function and maintains exercise tolerance. A mixture of strength and endurance training is particularly effective.
Pulmonary exercise and respiratory physiotherapy are offers tailored to lung patients, which every emphysema patient should take advantage of. In addition to exercise, you will learn important secretion mobilization techniques to help cough up tough bronchial mucus.
4. Prevent secondary diseases
The risk of further serious diseases such as diabetes, heart failure or osteoporosis is higher with emphysema or. COPD patients significantly increased. In the treatment of emphysema, therefore, the following factors play a role Prevention of secondary diseases A major role. Proper nutrition and plenty of exercise effectively prevent such diseases.