The goals with lung disease treatment are 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, minimize 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, testing for radon, minimizing exposure to particulates such as asbestos, coal, beryllium, silica, molds, grain dust, air pollution, and to chemicals and drugs known to affect the lungs. People with compromised immune systems, existing lung disease, and those who are very young or elderly should talk to their doctor about the advisability of getting annual flu shots and pneumococcal vaccines to minimize their risk of getting influenza and pneumonia.
New therapies for lung diseases continue to be developed and people's treatment needs change over time. Those who have been diagnosed and are living with lung disease should talk to their doctors periodically about the treatments that are right for them.