Respiratory sufferers know far too well that not being able to breathe with ease is daunting and draining. Thankfully, there are more and more treatments available and effective for treating all kinds of respiratory conditions such as asthma, COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, tuberculosis, pneumonia, cancer of the lungs and autoimmune disorders that cause inflammation within the body making breathing difficult. With that said, the only true way to effectively find the right treatment to help an individual breathe with ease again is by diagnosing the type of respiratory condition the individual is suffering from, which requires paying attention to symptoms and taking proper respiratory tests.
What kind of testing is done to help determine the type of respiratory condition an individual is dealing with daily?
Before any kind of testing is performed a physical exam from a doctor or respiratory specialist is essential. They will talk with you about the symptoms you may be experiencing, listen to your lungs and check oxygen flow. Once the doctor has a sense of what you could be facing respiratory wise they could recommend tests such as:
- An X-ray of the lungs to check for fluid or masses within them
- Pulmonary function tests to assess function of the lungs
- Spirometry testing that measures the air you breathe out
- Methacholine test to diagnosis asthma
- CT scan to examine the lungs clearly
- Allergy testing
- Blood test
What occurs after proper respiratory testing?
After proper respiratory testing, the doctor will have the ability to determine which kind of respiratory condition you are suffering from daily. Next, they will talk with you about a treatment plan to help you cope with the condition properly.
For example, if your condition is caused by allergic asthma, the doctor may recommend you stay clear of those allergens and have you place an air purifying machine into your home. They may even provide prescription drugs to help get the condition under control so you can breathe with ease.
If the condition you have is cause by inflammation within the body instead, the doctor may have you go on a diet that helps reduce the inflammation while also having you take medication that reduces inflammation within the lungs.
With that said, the most common medications most useful for treating respiratory conditions are:
- Oral steroids
- Respiratory inhalers
- Nebulizing treatments
- Antiviral or Antibiotic medications if infection is present within the lungs
How long are treatments needed?
Depending on the respiratory condition an individual is suffering from it might be a couple weeks, months, a year or even the rest of their life. People who suffer from asthma, COPD and emphysema must stay on a respiratory treatment plan for their entire life. However, if you were diagnosed with a respiratory condition caused by a virus or bacterial infection you may only need to be on a treatment plan to help you breathe easier until the infection is gone. Those diagnosed with cancer, can sometimes require treatment until the illness is gone, but sometimes lung cancer that is in the later stages requires a treatment plan for the rest of a person life. Again, it all depends on the lung condition you are diagnosed with by a doctor or respiratory specialist.
End Thoughts to Keep in Mind
Remember, the only way to diagnose a respiratory condition if you suspect you have one is by seeing a doctor for a physical exam and testing. Once that is done, you can begin a treatment plan to help you breathe with ease again instead of dealing with the annoying symptoms of wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.