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(((Stuff in triple-parenthasies is comments by KinkoBlast from the normal wikipedia, here to not have to learn all those difficult medical terms))) To have an idea how it feels to have emphysema or chronic bronchitis, run in place for five minutes, then pinch your nose and breathe in and out through a straw or coffee stirrer. This is what folks with these conditions feel like most of the time--their airways have closed down like the straw and its hard for them to get the air out of their lungs. (((Has this been proven true? And is that safe?)))

Research has shown quitting smoking and avoiding lung irritants is the MOST important thing that can be done to slow the progression of emphysema. It is helpful to patients to have all possible resources to help them quit--their doctors support, counseling, and of course loved ones.(((This one needs to be added now!)))

Having a pneumonia shot and an annual flu shot, as well as good hygeine to avoid infections and colds are also helpful in keeping lungs functioning at their best. Pulmonary rehabilition is a program which helps education patients about their condition and methods of helping manage it as well as possible, allowing the patient and caregiver to meet other patients and caregivers, and helping patient develop an appropriate exercise program under medical supervision.(((This one sounds about right, too)))

There are several classes of medications commonly used to treat emphysema, most of which are the same as those used to treat asthmatics. There are bronchodilators like albuterol and Xopenex, long-term beta2 agonists like Serevent and Foradil, inhaled steroids like Flovent, Pulmicort and Qvar, and anticholinergics like Atrovent and Spiriva, plus the theophyllines. Of course, there are some combination medications like Advair (Serevent + Flovent), Combivent (Atrovent + albuterol), and Symbidort (Foradil + Pulmicort). If often takes time and experimenting (with your doctors' assistance) to figure out which combination of medications provides the best relief with the fewest side effects.(((Sounds good for information, but it's a little to reliant on complex medical terms)))

Treating other conditions the patient has, such as gastric reflux and allergies can also help maximize the patient's lung function. The patient should ask whether there are any conditions the patient may have which may be worsening his or her lung function. Heart problems can make lung problems worse as well, and lung problems can of course worsen any heart problems (plus some of the medications for one condition may worsen the other conditions.) Bronchodilators and long-term beta2 agonists may cause increased heart rates.(((Makes sense)))

It is often useful for the patient to have an evaluation with a lung specialist, called a pulmonologist in the US and respiraologist elsewhere. Such a consultation can review the patient's treatment plan and make any modifications appropriate. The patient and doctors can determine which doctor is most appropriate for most of the patient's needs; some patients prefer their pulmonologist as their primary doctor, while others prefer their internist, general practitioner, or another to be their primary doctor.(((Good! This paragraph is a good example on how to explain medical terms.)))

When patients have oxygen saturation rates of 88% or lower on room air when sitting, walking, or sleeping, they qualify for supplemental oxygen under US Medicare guidelines, which most major insurers follow. Portable oxygen comes in various forms, from the big, bulky tanks to oxygen concentrators which don't reqauire any tanks, to complete home systems that fill oxygen tanks, to lightweight portable liquid oxygen systems which can weigh as little as 3.5 pounds and carried on a waistpack. There are pros and cons of each system, which your doctor and oxygen supply company can discuss with the patient to determine which system best meets the patient's needs. '''Using supplemental oxygen as prescribed is the only means which has been shown to prolong the lives of emphysema patients.''' To monitor oxygen saturation rates as needed, some patients purchase a personal pulse oximeter, which displays the patient's oxygen saturation rate and pulse rate. They cost $200-$400+ and are rarely covered by insurance or Medicare.)(((Sounds good. another example of useing the medical term and then explaining it)))