Can people with emphysema recover completely? This is the answer – Emphysema is a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) characterized by shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and tightness in the chest. Lifestyle changes are an important treatment that must be done, because the main cause of emphysema itself is smoking. So, can emphysema be completely cured? Check out the explanation below.

Can people with emphysema recover completely?

Emphysema can result from long-term exposure to irritants that damage the lungs and respiratory tract. Causes of emphysema include cigarette smoke, tobacco smoke, air pollution, chemicals, vehicle fumes, and genetic conditions (although this is rare). Anyone is at risk for emphysema.

However, as reported by MedlinePlus, about 75% of people with emphysema are people who smoke or have smoked. However, can emphysema be completely cured if all these things are successfully stopped? So far, various treatments have been carried out so that emphysema can be cured and not recur.


However, there is no successful treatment yet. This is because there is no drug that is really able to cure emphysema patients. As a result, the condition of emphysema patients may worsen from day to day. However, the treatment carried out is at least able to relieve the symptoms of emphysema felt by the sufferer.

How to deal with emphysema

While you don’t know when emphysema will go away, there are ways to relieve symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.

1. Lifestyle changes

Most lung diseases are caused by an unhealthy and regular lifestyle. Therefore, you can change it by:

  • quit smoking if you are an active smoker,
  • avoid cigarette smoke,
  • avoid dusty places and objects, and
  • do not exercise outdoors when the air quality is very poor.

2. Drugs

Here are some types of drugs that can relieve symptoms of emphysema.


This drug works by relaxing and opening the airways in the lungs so that you feel more relieved. Thus, shortness of breath which is the main symptom of emphysema can be reduced. Usually, bronchodilator medications are given orally (by mouth) or by aerosol spray (inhaled through the nose). Examples of drugs are terbutaline, aminophylline, salbutamol, and theophylline.


Steroid-based medications help reduce the inflammatory process that occurs in your lungs. How to give steroids themselves can be in the form of oral, inhalation, and injection (injection). Examples of steroid drugs used are prednisone, methylprednisolone, budesonide, and fluticasone.


Antibiotics function to fight respiratory infections that commonly occur in emphysema patients such as pneumonia, flu, and bronchitis.

Examples of antibiotics for patients with emphysema are amoxicillin, cephalosporins, and quinolones.

3. Oxygen therapy

When emphysema recurs, the patient may find it difficult to breathe on his own. Therefore, additional oxygen is needed which can be obtained through oxygen therapy.

4. Pulmonary rehabilitation

The most important part of treating emphysema is pulmonary rehabilitation, which includes nutritional counseling, education, learning special breathing techniques, quitting smoking, and starting exercise. This is because people with emphysema often avoid any kind of physical activity. In fact, regular physical activity can improve your health and well-being.

5. Surgery

Surgery is the last resort for people who have severe emphysema symptoms and still have not improved with the drugs above. There are two surgical options that you can choose, namely lung transplantation and lung volume reduction to remove damaged lung tissue. Maybe some people think that surgery will make emphysema disease completely cured. However, this treatment has not been able to treat emphysema.

Tips for maintaining lung health

People living with emphysema often have difficulty breathing, both during strenuous and light activities. Although there is no cure for it, you can prevent a recurrence by keeping your lungs healthy. Here are some tips.

1. Quit smoking

Smoking is a major cause of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases such as bronchitis and emphysema. Cigarette smoke will narrow the airways so that you find it difficult to breathe. This can cause inflammation and swelling of the lungs. If you stop smoking, of course, all the bad things above can be avoided immediately.

2. Controlled cough

Coughing is the body’s natural way of expelling toxins trapped in mucus. With controlled coughing, excess mucus in the lungs can be overcome. You can do the following steps to clear the lungs of excess mucus.

  1. Sit in a chair with your shoulders relaxed and keep your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Fold your hands over your stomach.
  3. Inhale slowly through your nose.
  4. Exhale slowly while leaning forward.
  5. Push your arms to your stomach.
  6. Cough 2 or 3 times when exhaling with the mouth slightly open.
  7. Inhale slowly through your nose.
  8. Rest, then repeat up to several times.

With reduced mucus in the lungs, shortness of breath which is a symptom of emphysema can be reduced slowly.

3. Regular exercise

When you exercise, your muscles work harder to increase your respiratory rate, produce more oxygen supply to your muscles, and increase blood circulation. If your body is used to it, it will not be difficult to carry out regular exercise.

That way, slowly the symptoms of emphysema can be resolved even though they have not fully recovered. Some of the sports you can do include cycling, dancing, swimming, jogging, and walking.

4. Try to prevent infection

Infections of the respiratory system do pose a very serious problem. Therefore, you can do the following ways to protect yourself from infection.

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, then use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid crowds during the rainy and flu season.
  • Get the influenza vaccine.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day to avoid dental and oral bacteria.

So, when you feel some of the symptoms of emphysema, don’t just sit still. Even though emphysema can’t be completely cured, see a doctor immediately so that the symptoms don’t get worse.

Stay tuned to us to get world news.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *