Pulmonology & Cystic Fibrosis

Treatment for Respiratory Conditions

Primary care providers are able to assess and treat acute respiratory illnesses, but when further evaluation is needed, a pulmonologist can help diagnosis, manage and treat more complex medical conditions such as cystic fibrosis, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or lung cancer. At RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group, our experienced pulmonology team is here to help treat chronic respiratory problems.

Symptoms of a chronic respiratory disease may include:

  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Chronic cough
  • Chronic shortness of breath
  • Severe asthma symptoms

If you are experiencing breathing problems, it’s important to contact your health care provider. Your primary care provider can help guide you and recommend a specialist if needed.

What Is Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis is a hereditary disease that increases mucus production in various organs. It often affects the lungs and makes them more vulnerable to infection. Excess mucus clogs up airways and traps bacteria, resulting in infection and inflammation. People with cystic fibrosis need to practice healthy hygiene habits to limit bacteria exposure.

Cystic fibrosis is inherited from parents, but a parent can carry the gene without suffering symptoms.

Symptoms of cystic fibrosis include:

  • Excessively salty skin
  • Coughing and wheezing
  • Difficulty gaining weight
  • Frequent lung infections
  • Clubbed fingers

While there is no cure for cystic fibrosis, it is manageable. A combination of medication, pulmonary rehabilitation, and sometimes surgery can help manage cystic fibrosis symptoms.

Treatment Procedures

Treatment options for cystic fibrosis include:

  • Oxygen therapy to replenish oxygen in the blood after long periods of reduced breathing.
  • Nutrition counseling to create a diet that improves lung function, boosts the immune system, and lowers mucus levels.
  • Pulmonary rehab to learn new breathing techniques and lung-strengthening exercises.
  • Counseling to reduce stress and learn relaxation techniques.
  • Lung transplant to replace severely damaged lungs; this treatment is only recommended in extreme cases as determined by your provider.

Our experienced pulmonologists with RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group can help you manage the symptoms of cystic fibrosis and improve your quality of life.

To make an appointment at RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group with one of our pulmonologists please visit our Physician Locator to find a provider near you. You can make an appointment online, call the office or visit healthconnect.rwjbh.org/hcweb to book an appointment directly.