What Is the Life Expectancy for Bronchiectasis?

What Is the Life Expectancy for Bronchiectasis?

For somebody with bronchiectasis, life expectancy can be a significant concern. In the same class as COPD and emphysema, bronchiectasis is a chronic obstructive lung condition that leads to pulmonary inflammation and infection. Over time, the walls of the bronchi thicken and mucus builds up, scarring and damaging the lungs. One of the most frustrating parts of bronchiectasis is the periodic flare-ups, which can make it difficult to breathe — and will get worse over time.
There are two types of bronchiectasis — congenital and acquired (non-congenital) — and prognosis depends largely on which type you have. Congenital forms such as those caused by cystic fibrosis may have poorer outcomes than acquired types, which are often caused by damage to the airway or repeated lung infections rather than smoking or inhaling contaminants.
Bronchiectasis itself does not shorten your lifespan, but certain symptoms and complications may arise that could decrease life expectancy in those with the disease. However, it is important to see your doctor for an exam and consultation to talk about your specific situation and contributing factors.

What complications may arise from bronchiectasis?

Complications of bronchiectasis include:
Pneumonia. Due to the buildup of mucus in the lungs, some patients may have bouts of pneumonia. Pneumonia has many possible causes, but most often it is a complication of the flu. There were 43,000 deaths from pneumonia in 2019, so it’s important to stay on top of your health when living with bronchiectasis. During cold and flu season, wash your hands frequently, avoid crowded places and wear a mask if necessary.
Massive hemoptysis. This can happen if a blood vessel supplying the lung splits open and causes bleeding; the blood is then coughed up. Symptoms include coughing up more than 100ml (about one-third of a soda can) of blood within a 24-hour period, breathing difficulties, lightheadedness, dizziness, or cold and clammy hands. If you suspect you might have massive hemoptysis, call 911.
Heart failure. A study showed that patients with bronchiectasis may be at a higher risk of heart disease and stroke than the general population.
Respiratory failure. Because of the damage caused to the lungs over time and the higher chance of infection, patients with bronchiectasis may eventually go into respiratory failure. This is one of the more common causes of death for those with bronchiectasis.

Cellular therapy treats bronchiectasis at the source

While certain medications and treatments can address the symptoms of bronchiectasis, cellular therapy is a type of regenerative treatment that can treat chronic lung disorders like bronchiectasis by targeting the actual source of the condition — the lungs.

If you or someone you love has COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), ILD (Interstitial lung disease), emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, or another chronic lung disorder, call us today at 866-638-4776 and learn more about what our innovative therapy has the potential to do for you. 

Our dedicated team of Patient Care Specialists and Board-Certified Medical Providers are standing by to answer all your questions.

Medical Disclaimer: This content is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with a physician with any questions that you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read in this article. We strive for 100% accuracy, but errors may occur, and medications, protocols, and treatment methods may change over time. 

 

Liquid Oxygen: Weighing the Pros and Cons

Liquid Oxygen: Weighing the Pros and Cons

If you have a condition such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or pulmonary fibrosis, chances are that you might have a prescription for supplemental oxygen. Supplemental oxygen has shown to be beneficial for many people with chronic lung disease by improving exercise tolerance and breathlessness during exertion.

Liquid oxygen, also called LOX, is different from concentrated, or “regular” oxygen. Concentrated oxygen tanks can be bulky and difficult to carry around, which is why some people choose to use the smaller liquid oxygen tanks. Let’s take a deeper look into what liquid oxygen is, and also weigh the pros and cons.

What is Liquid Oxygen?

Concentrated oxygen is oxygen in gas form, whereas liquid oxygen is oxygen that has been compressed into liquid form. That’s the major difference between the two. There are other smaller differences, and the type of oxygen tank that you choose will depend upon your personal preferences.

Concentrated oxygen tanks are much larger than liquid oxygen tanks. This is because when oxygen converts from a liquid to gas, it expands 860 times! To convert oxygen from gas to liquid, it must be cooled by at least -297 degrees Fahrenheit, or -183 degrees centigrade.

Which is Better? Concentrated or Liquid Oxygen?

A study published in Thorax respiratory medicine journal took a look at liquid oxygen versus concentrated oxygen for portable use. Liquid oxygen came out slightly ahead.

The study reports: “The longer duration of liquid oxygen supply enables patients to spend more time using portable oxygen and going out of the house.”

Here’s a breakdown of the other findings from the study:

  • All patients’ arterial oxygen tension values when they were breathing liquid oxygen and gaseous oxygen were similar
  • There were no significant differences between distance walked in the baseline walk test and the walk with liquid or gaseous oxygen
  • The level of breathlessness also appeared to be similar for both types of oxygen after the two walking tests
  • The baseline walking distance was greater after the eight weeks spent using liquid oxygen than at the initial baseline walk
  • There was no significant difference in walking distance after eight weeks of gaseous oxygen
  • There were no significant changes in spirometric values or arterial blood gas tensions throughout the duration of the study
  • Patients using liquid oxygen left the house on average of 19.5 hours a week, while patients using gaseous oxygen only left the house an average of 15.5 hours a week
  • Of the 15 patients tested in the study, 11 preferred the liquid oxygen because it lasted longer and carrying and filling it were both easier

Pros of Using Liquid Oxygen

Liquid oxygen takes up less space than oxygen in its gas form, making it easier and lighter to carry around. Not only that, it also can be stored at a much lower pressure. This makes liquid oxygen tanks safer than concentrated oxygen cylinders, which are under high pressure.

Liquid oxygen portable tanks are filled from reservoirs that can be kept in the home. They are easier to fill than concentrated oxygen tanks. Additionally, liquid oxygen lasts longer than concentrated oxygen. In fact, a small amount of liquid oxygen can last a full day, making it a great choice to take with you when you leave the house.

Cons of Using Liquid Oxygen

You have to keep large containers filled with oxygen in your home to frequently fill the smaller, portable tank. This not only takes up space in your home; additionally, the recurring oxygen deliveries can get pricey. Another important thing to note is that liquid oxygen needs to be used within a week or two; otherwise, it will evaporate.

Liquid oxygen is often used for more hours a week than concentrated oxygen, meaning you will be wearing your oxygen more. Some users have reported that the process of using liquid oxygen equipment is confusing and difficult to remember.

Who Uses Liquid Oxygen?

Convenience and efficiency are the two major deciding factors when choosing between liquid or concentrated oxygen. Speak with your primary care physician about both options, and he or she will help you arrive at a decision that best suits your lifestyle.

Some Centers for Respiratory Health patients have been able to reduce their reliance upon supplemental oxygen after receiving cellular therapy.

If you or someone you love has COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), ILD (Interstitial lung disease), emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, or another chronic lung disorder, call us today at 866-638-4776 and learn more about what our innovative therapy has the potential to do for you. 

Our dedicated team of Patient Care Specialists and Board-Certified Medical Providers are standing by to answer all your questions.

Medical Disclaimer: This content is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with a physician with any questions that you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read in this article. We strive for 100% accuracy, but errors may occur, and medications, protocols, and treatment methods may change over time. 

COPD Stages, Prognosis and Life Expectancy: Here Are Your Numbers

COPD Stages, Prognosis and Life Expectancy: Here Are Your Numbers

With all of the numbers, facts and information you have to remember about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you may have many questions. One common question is, “how long can I live with COPD?” It’s an important one to ask, but many people understandably feel too worried or afraid to ask it. Because COPD and other chronic, progressive lung diseases affect everyone differently, there’s no way to accurately predict the life expectancy of people with COPD. However, researchers and doctors have come up with ways to estimate and measure life expectancy and prognosis by placing COPD into stages. The COPD stages, prognosis and life expectancy all work together to help doctors develop a COPD treatment plan for their patients. Here’s what you need to know about COPD stages, prognosis and life expectancy.

How are COPD Stages, Prognosis and Life Expectancy Determined?

Because COPD affects everyone differently and can range from mild to severe, your COPD stages, lung prognosis and life expectancy depend on many varying factors. COPD is a progressive condition, meaning it will worsen over time. Including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, COPD, the third leading cause of death in the United States, is a major obstructive lung disease that currently affects over 16 million people in the U.S. However, it’s estimated that 24 million may have COPD without even knowing it.

Your doctor is likely going to recommend that you have a pulmonary function test (PFT) to determine how well your lungs are working and how well your COPD treatment plan is working. With the pulmonary function test results, your doctor may use that information to aid in determining what stage your COPD is in. In combination with pulmonary function tests, the two most commonly used methods to measure the severity of COPD is through the GOLD System and the BODE Index.

Gold System and COPD Stages

One way to measure prognosis and life expectancy is through the GOLD System of staging, which places COPD into stages based on severity. The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) came up with the GOLD System. GOLD uses the forced expiratory volume (FEV1) test from your pulmonary function test to categorize the severity of COPD into stages. The forced expiratory volume (FEV1) shows the amount of air a person can forcefully exhale in one second. COPD has four total stages, and your airflow becomes more limited with each stage.

Here are your numbers and how the GOLD System breaks down the COPD Stages:

  • Stage 1: Very mild COPD with a FEV1 about 80 percent or more of normal.
  • Stage 2: Moderate COPD with a FEV1 between 50 and 80 percent of normal.
  • Stage 3: Severe emphysema with FEV1 between 30 and 50 percent of normal.
  • Stage 4: Very severe COPD with a lower FEV1 than Stage 3, or those with Stage 3 FEV1 and low blood oxygen levels

COPD Stages, Prognosis and Life Expectancy: Here Are Your Numbers

Simply put, as the COPD Stage numbers increase, the lung prognosis and life expectancy with COPD worsens.

BODE Index for COPD

Other scientists came up with the BODE Index to measure the severity of COPD. BODE stands for body mass, airflow obstruction, dyspnea and exercise capacity. The BODE Index accounts for how COPD affects your life.

  • Body Mass
  • Airflow Obstruction
  • Dyspnea
  • Exercise Capacity

The body mass index (BMI) helps determine if you’re overweight, obese or underweight. Airflow obstruction refers to your FEV1, which is similar to the GOLD system. Dyspnea means trouble breathing, and exercise capacity refers to exercise tolerance. Many people with COPD take a six-minute walk test—the distance you can walk in 6 minutes—to evaluate their level of exercise tolerance. These combined measurements make up the BODE Index and can be used to put COPD into stages or approximate life expectancy with COPD.

What do the numbers mean in COPD Stages, Prognosis and Life Expectancy?

Unfortunately, COPD worsens over time, and there is no known cure. However, there are treatment options available to help people breathe easier. Medications, oxygen therapy, diet, exercise, natural supplements and cellular therapy are all COPD treatment options. In fact, many of our patients have seen improved pulmonary function, better quality of life and have reduced dependency on inhalers, nebulizers, and oxygen therapy.

If you or someone you love has COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), ILD (interstitial lung disease), emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, or another chronic lung disorder, call us today at 866-638-4776 and learn more about what our innovative therapy has the potential to do for you.

Our dedicated team of Patient Care Specialists and Board-Certified Medical Providers are standing by to answer all your questions.

Medical Disclaimer: This content is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with a physician with any questions that you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read in this article. We strive for 100% accuracy, but errors may occur, and medications, protocols, and treatment methods may change over time.