cystic fibrosis prognosisToday, therapies exist that can increase the possibility of CF children remaining healthy until they become adults.  As lung function declines, the individual becomes disabled.  The average life span averages around 40 years of age — substantially higher than in decades past when those with cystic fibrosis did not live past grade school. Generally, lung complications are the cause of death in CF, which is why targeting therapies at the lungs is so critically important..

Current therapies

To improve the quality of life and increase life span, early detection is paramount.  Developing a comprehensive regime of treatment is necessary along with close monitoring over time.  It is best for patients to be treated at a CF clinic, which are available in a number of communities.

There are a number of CF therapies that patients may be prescribed for both the lungs and digestive tract as well.

Lung therapies:

There are antibiotics for prevention and treatment of lung and sinus infections.

  • Inhalers are available to open airways.
  • DNAse enzyme therapy – The mucus of CF patients contains a considerable amount of DNA, which is released from white blood cells as they die.  This enzyme cleaves DNA in the mucus, thereby breaking up the mucus in the lungs.  The CF patient then becomes able to cough up more mucus, making for a more productive cough. It is available in aerosol form.
  • Breathing in mists of high salt concentrations aids breathing (breaks down mucus).
  • Flu and Bacterial vaccines yearly to prevent lung infections.
  • Oxygen therapy.
  • Lung transplant if necessary.
  • Percussion vest or manual chest percussion.

Bowel therapies:

  • CF patients are required to eat a diet high in calories and protein (children and adults).
  • At some point pancreatic enzymes will need to be taken to aid in digestion and absorption of fats and proteins.
  • Multivitamins are necessary particularly vitamins A, D, E and K.
  • Anti-constipation medicine.

Lifestyle changes:

  • Avoid certain chemicals in the air such as smoke, household chemicals, mold/mildew.
  • Keep hydrated, drink lots of water particularly in hot whether or physical activity.
  • Exercise regularly.

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Cystic Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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