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Some Questions about Emphysema Treatment and SSA Disability


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5/21/2012
John L. Keefe
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If you have been diagnosed with emphysema, you will have many questions about your condition. But perhaps first on your mind will be treatment – what can be done to treat your disease and how effective will it be? 

As time goes on, you may also wonder what will happen if you no longer are able to work. As Boston Social Security disability lawyers, we understand your concerns. Here is some information on the treatment of emphysema and applying for SSA disability benefits.

Let’s begin with treatment. While treatment decisions are based on how advanced your disease is, here is a general listing of the treatments available for emphysema patients:

  • First and foremost, if you smoke, you will be encouraged to quit. Drugs like Zyban and Chantix may be used to help you quit. There are also many support organizations and other smoking cessation aids.
  • Other medications may be recommended. Bronchodilators can help relax your constricted airways; this, in turn, will help you to breathe more easily and relieve coughing. Aerosol inhalers containing corticosteroid drugs can also relieve symptoms. However, there are side effects associated with steroids that include bone density, blood pressure, cataract and diabetes-related problems.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation may also be used to help you. A rehabilitation therapist can recommend techniques and exercises to help you breathe better and live a more active life. If you are in the early stages, you may be put on a weight loss program. If you are in later stages, weight gain may be recommended.
  • Oxygen is another frequent treatment option. If your blood oxygen levels are too low, you could be given supplemental oxygen. Some people use it at home and when exercising; others use it all the time.
  • Surgery may be recommended in severe cases. There are two types of surgery associated with emphysema. The first is lung volume reduction in which damaged lung tissue is removed, which can improve breathing. The second is a full lung transplant. This is very rare and only done when you have exhausted all other options.

The answer to the second question, what will happen if you can no longer work, depends on your resources. But most of us need some extra help. Fortunately the Social Security Administration disability program provides benefits for people disabled by emphysema. 

If you decide to apply for Massachusetts Social Security disability benefits, the experts at Keefe Disability Law can help. We specialize in all aspects of the application process and will see you through every step. Call us toll free today at 888-904-6847 to get your questions answered.


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