Heart and Vascular

Breathe easier with care for emphysema

Emphysema is a chronic lung condition. It occurs when tiny air sacs (alveoli) in the bronchial tubes deep in your lungs become weak and rupture, causing the bronchial tube to collapse. This makes it difficult for air to enter or leave your lungs.

While there is no cure for emphysema, treatment at Goshen Heart & Vascular Center’s Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program can slow its progression and help you breathe easier. You will work with an experienced team of specialists to create a treatment plan just for you.

Have you noticed emphysema symptoms, such as shortness of breath, long-term cough, wheezing, fatigue and feeling like you can’t get enough air? Talk to your primary care provider about a screening at Goshen Heart & Vascular Center. If you don’t have a primary care provider, call (574) 537-5000 for a referral.

Considering your emphysema treatment options

The most important part of treating emphysema is not smoking to prevent further harm to your lungs. If you need help quitting, we offer a smoking cessation program. In addition, your doctor at Goshen Heart & Vascular Center may recommend medication, oxygen therapy, rehabilitation or a cardiac procedure.

Emphysema medications

There are several options for using medication to treat emphysema, including:

  • Bronchodilators to help relax the muscles around your airways
  • Corticosteroids, usually inhaled, to reduce inflammation in the lungs
  • Anti-inflammatory medications, taken orally, to reduce inflammation in the airways for easier breathing
  • Antibiotics, as people with emphysema are at high risk for infection

Oxygen therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation

Oxygen therapy may be necessary if your emphysema has progressed so that your lungs aren’t receiving enough oxygen. Using a nasal cannula (a small catheter placed under your nose) or a mask, you breathe in oxygen from a tank.

With support from an exercise physiologist, registered nurses and respiratory therapist, our Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program will teach you ways to make healthy changes to your lifestyle to improve your breathing and overall well-being. Ask us about our lung education services, including the Better Breathers Club.

Cardiac procedures

Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) is an option for some emphysema patients. In this procedure, a cardiologist removes part of the diseased lung tissue to relieve pressure on the muscle and ease breathing. Lung transplant is an option if your emphysema is severe.

We can help

Our team is committed to finding the right treatment that works for your unique needs. Talk to your primary care provider or call (574) 537-5000 to learn more about the compassionate care and medical expertise we offer our patients.

Serving northern Indiana and southern Michigan, Goshen Heart & Vascular Center treats emphysema in Goshen, IN.