Lung disease treatment aims to prevent the disease wherever possible; treat infections and prevent their spread to other people; reduce inflammation; stop or slow the progression of lung damage; relieve symptoms; ease breathing; minimise the side effects associated with some treatments; and make sure that the affected person is getting sufficient oxygen.
Many cases of lung disease could be prevented by not smoking, minimising exposure to particulates (such as asbestos, coal, beryllium, silica, moulds, grain dust, air pollution) and chemicals and drugs known to affect the lungs. People with compromised immune systems or existing lung disease, and those who are very young or elderly, should talk to their doctor about the advisability of getting annual flu injections and pneumococcal vaccines to minimise their risk of getting influenza and pneumonia.
New therapies for lung diseases continue to be developed and patients’ treatment needs change over time. Patients should talk to their doctors periodically about the treatments that are right for them.