The official blog of the Lung Institute.
The National Emphysema Foundation estimates that 3.1 million Americans have emphysema. This progressive disease usually affects adults over the age of 45 who are long-term smokers or workers in the coal mining, iron ore mining and related industries. It is most often caused by prolonged exposure to tobacco smoke and inhaled irritants such as coal and mineral dusts. Improved safety measures implemented in the 1970’s substantially decreased the incidence of emphysema among miners, but its occurrence has spiked in recent years as a result of less stringent safety standards.
Presently, there is no cure for emphysema. Treatment plans focus on preserving lung function for as long as possible and helping patients breathe more easily. Symptoms may be unnoticeable or very subtle at the onset of emphysema, but as the disease progresses, activities as simple as getting dressed or holding a conversation may cause breathlessness and fatigue. Commonly prescribed treatments for emphysema include supplemental oxygen, inhaled corticosteroids, pulmonary rehabilitation and bronchodilators.
The Lung Institute – the first stem cell center in the world to focus exclusively on pulmonary disease – offers an alternative form of care that harnesses the natural healing abilities of the body. Autologous stem cell therapy has the potential to actually slow the progression of emphysema and reduce lung inflammation, not just mask its symptoms. In fact, more than 80 percent of patients who receive stem cell therapy at the Lung Institute for emphysema and other forms of chronic pulmonary lung disease (COPD) report an improvement in quality of life. Stem cell therapy is relatively painless and is performed on an outpatient basis, so patients can rest comfortably in their homes immediately following the procedure.
Contact the Lung Institute at (800) 729-3065 if you would like to explore alternative treatment options for your emphysema. Our devoted medical team looks forward to the opportunity to help you breathe easier.