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There's currently no cure for cystic fibrosis, but it's possible to help control the symptoms, prevent or reduce complications, and make the condition easier to live with.
A person with cystic fibrosis will be supported by a team of healthcare professionals at a specialist cystic fibrosis centre. A care plan will be drawn up that's tailored to their individual needs.
A range of treatments may be used and sometimes treatment in hospital will be needed. Regular appointments to monitor the condition will also be recommended.
Some of the main treatments for cystic fibrosis include:
People with cystic fibrosis may need to take a number of different medicines to treat and prevent lung problems. These may be swallowed, inhaled or injected.
Some of the main medicines for cystic fibrosis are:
In addition to medication, special techniques can be used to help keep the lungs and airways clear. A physiotherapist can give you advice.
Some of the main techniques include:
Your care team can provide more information on the techniques mentioned above. The Cystic Fibrosis Trust also has information on airway clearance techniques.
For people with cystic fibrosis, getting the right nutrition is vital in helping them develop normally and stopping them becoming frequently ill.
However, the majority of people with cystic fibrosis cannot digest food and absorb nutrients from when they're a baby. Occasionally, the condition can cause the pancreas to become damaged over time, causing the same problem.
A dietitian will advise on what you can do to help avoid malnutrition. They may recommend:
The Cystic Fibrosis Trust has information on eating well with cystic fibrosis. It also has various factsheets, including nutrition advice for adults and children.
In severe cases of cystic fibrosis, when the lungs stop working properly and all medical treatments have failed to help, a lung transplant may be recommended.
A lung transplant is a serious operation that carries risks, but it can greatly improve the length and quality of life for people with severe cystic fibrosis.
The outlook for people with cystic fibrosis is often better than for many transplant patients, as they're often younger and in better general health. It's estimated that up to 9 out of 10 people will survive for at least a year after a transplant.
The Cystic Fibrosis Trust has information on lung transplants in cystic fibrosis.
People with cystic fibrosis can have a number of other problems that may benefit from treatment.
The Cystic Fibrosis Trust has information on cystic fibrosis-related diabetes.