According to the American Lung Association, there's no cure for emphysema, but various treatment options exist to manage emphysema symptoms. Depending on the results, you can manage the condition with bronchodilator or anti-inflammatory medications, non-surgical endobronchial valve placement, lung volume reduction surgery, or lung transplantation. Your doctor might also recommend oxygen therapy to improve oxygen levels and reduce emphysema symptoms like breathlessness and fatigue (via Medical News Today).
According to Asthma+Lung UK, lung volume reduction surgery is an effective treatment for people with emphysema. It works by reducing the amount of air trapped in the lungs alleviating breathlessness and fatigue. However, the foundation notes that the surgery is only effective for emphysema. It's not appropriate if also you have other lung conditions like asthma, bronchiectasis, or pulmonary fibrosis.
A 2008 study published in the journal American Thoracic Society also reveals the importance of pulmonary rehabilitation when treating emphysema. This therapy involves less reliance on medical equipment with more focus on exercise tolerance. The study emphasizes the effectiveness of pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with advanced emphysema. It helps alleviate emphysema symptoms, optimize functional control, and improve patients' independence as they battle with the condition. This therapy helps lessen the medical and economic burden of emphysema, per the study.
Besides medications and clinical treatments, certain lifestyle habits might help symptoms. According to Healthline, quitting smoking, avoiding infections, managing stress, exercising frequently, and maintaining a healthy diet might help minimize your vulnerability to more severe symptoms.