The official blog of the Lung Institute.
There are many types of chronic lung disease. One of the most prevalent is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which encompasses emphysema and chronic bronchitis. These chronic lung diseases are progressive, meaning they will worsen over time. While there is no cure for chronic lung disease, there are treatment options available. However, when it comes to new COPD treatments or advancements, options can seem lacking. Doctors and researchers continue to search for better COPD treatments for their patients every day. To keep you informed, here is what’s new in COPD treatments.
3. New Prescription Medication
A new medication that combines tiotropium and olodaterol, called Stiolto Respimat, has recently been approved for the treatment of COPD. This medication combines two different existing COPD medications into a once daily inhaler.
Tiotropium works by targeting the nerves that cause muscles in and around the airways to constrict. When the nerves are blocked, the muscles can relax, allowing the airways to expand more easily.
Olodaterol takes advantage of the relaxed airway muscles and activates the body’s adrenaline system, which helps open the airways. Without muscle tension tightening the airways, they can expand more fully.
This type of combination inhaler offers quick symptom relief as well as additional benefits in lung function for many patients. Remember, it’s important to discuss all of your treatment options, questions and concerns with your doctor before changing your current COPD treatment plan.
2. Lung Flute
For some people, there is a new device that is hitting the right notes: the Lung Flute. COPD causes a variety of symptoms, such as fatigue, chronic coughing, wheezing and increased mucus production. Chronic congestion places people with COPD at higher risk for developing pneumonia and other respiratory infections.
The hand-held Lung Flute device helps reduce and thin mucus, so people can expel it more easily. It was approved in 2010 and is the latest airway clearance device available on the market.
Here’s how the Lung Flute works:
Blow into the tube. A thin reed inside the tube flutters when the user exhales. The movement of the reed creates low-frequency sound waves that travel back into your trachea and down into your lungs. According to the co-founder and CEO of the company that makes the Lung Flute, the sound waves break up and thin the mucus. The lungs can then naturally move the mucus up the airways, making it easier to expel.
Remember to discuss devices such as the Lung Flute and other treatments or lifestyle changes with your doctor before trying them.
1. Stem Cell Therapy
One of the new treatments is stem cell therapy. Stem cells, the body’s building blocks, have the unique ability to self-renew and replicate. Autologous stem cells, also known as adult stem cells, are derived from the patient’s blood or bone marrow. Next, the stem cells are isolated in an on-site lab and returned to the patient intravenously. Once returned to the patient, the stem cells can work to promote healing from within the lungs.
Stem cell therapy works differently than traditional COPD treatments. Traditional COPD treatments work to manage COPD symptoms. However, stem cell therapy works to promote healing from within the lungs and has the potential to improve lung function and quality of life. What makes stem cell therapy remarkable is its potential to directly address lung disease at its source.
COPD Treatments and You
With doctors and researchers continuing to search for better COPD treatments, there is hope for people with COPD. If you’re concerned that you may have COPD, emphysema or another chronic lung disease, it’s important to see your doctor. Early treatment is essential. You and your doctor can work together to develop the best COPD treatment plan for you. If you or someone you love has COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis or another chronic lung disease and would like to learn more about stem cell treatment, contact us at (800) 729-3065.