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Is a hereditary disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. The body produces thick and sticky mucus that can clog the lungs and obstruct the pancreas.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) can be life-threatening, and people with the condition tend to have a shorter-than-normal life span.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of CF are:

  • salty-tasting skin
  • persistent coughing
  • shortness of breath
  • wheezing
  • poor weight gain in spite of excessive appetite
  • greasy, bulky stools
  • nasal polyps, or small, fleshy growths found in the nos

Treatment

There is currently no cure for CF. Treatment can manage the symptoms of the disease, however, and improve quality of life. Symptoms can vary and treatment plans will be individualized.

Airway clearance

It is crucial for people with CF to get rid of mucus from their lungs to allow clear breathing and minimize lung infections.

Airway clearance techniques (ACT) can help people with CF to loosen and get rid of mucus from their lungs.

An example of ACT would be postural drainage and percussion. A therapist claps the patient’s chest and back while they sit, stand, or lie in a position that should help to free up mucus.

Inhaled medication is effective at reaching the airways and commonly used. The medication can be given by aerosol or as a metered dose inhaler. These medications can thin mucus, kill bacteria, and mobilize mucus to improve airway clearance.

Antibiotics are an important part of regular care. These can be taken orally, intravenously, or through inhalation.

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