Lung disease treatment options

You want to know more about lung disease treatment options. This page gives you information on the treatment possibilities for the following diseases of the lung:

  • Bronchitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD, CARA)
  • Quitting smoking (smoking cessation)
  • Collapsed lung (pneumothorax)
  • Cystic fibrosis (CF, mucoviscidosis)


Bronchitis can be treated with antibiotics. Sometimes, however, it may be better to just wait for some time, since many people recover spontaneously.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD)

If you have or are developing COPD, the most important thing is to stop smoking as soon as possible. Although your lungs cannot heal anymore, quitting smoking will prevent the disease from progressing. The symptoms of COPD can be alleviated by means of drugs. If the symptoms are severe, extra oxygen can be considered.

Quitting smoking

Smoking increases the risk of contracting many diseases, including heart diseases, different types of cancer and COPD. The size of the risk depends on how long and how much you have smoked. Even after you have smoked for many years, it is still useful to quit smoking or to lessen the amount of cigarettes or cigars. It is often hard to stop smoking. Sometimes, medicines can be helpful.

Collapsed lung (pneumothorax)

A lung collapse is caused by a hole in the lung membrane. As a result, the air flows into the space between the lung membranes instead of into the lung itself. The treatment of a collapsed lung consists of sucking away the air between the lung membranes. This can be combined with pasting of the hole.

Cystic fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a congenital disease with a high risk of chronic pneumonias, intestinal problems and growth retardation. Often, it is treated primarily with drugs, a special diet, exercising and physiotherapy. In case of severe pulmonary damage, a lung transplantation may be considered.

Lung disease decision aids

The mentioned pulmonary diseases can be treated in multiple ways. Often, it is hard to determine what lung disease treatment suits your personal situation and wishes best or if you want any treatment at all. You can discuss this with your doctor. At the bottom of this page you find a list with decision aids about the mentioned lung diseases. They are meant to support the consult with your doctor. They can help you to make a well-considered decision about the best way to treat the lung disease or problem.

Bronchitis (OHRI): taking antibiotics or not EN

COPD (OHRI): having extra oxygen or not EN

Quitting smoking (OHRI): with or without drugs EN

Collapsed lung: pasting or not pasting the hole NL

Respiratory failure due to cystic fibrosis (OHRI): having a lung transplantation or not EN