Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Cystic Fibrosis Wheezing

Home care for mild wheezing in someone with cystic fibrosis includes:

  • Avoid exposure to smoke.
  • Avoid cough medicine.
  • Avoid sedative medications.
  • Avoid substances that trigger wheezing.
  • Drink plenty of liquids to remain hydrated.
  • Place a vaporizer or nebulizer in the bedroom at night.

Home care for those who take medication for wheezing includes:
  • Follow asthma home care instructions.
  • Learn to use prescribed inhalers correctly.
  • Use short-acting inhalers every 20 minutes, or as directed by your doctor.
  • Long-acting medications must be used regularly.
  • Learn to use a peak flow meter.
  • Know the peak flow danger zones.
  • Develop a strategy for using your inhaler based on your PEFR reading
  • Stay calm during a wheezing attack.

Peak Flow Zones:
  • Green Zone:
    • A PEFR reading that is 80-100% of personal best represents good control
  • Yellow Zone:
    • A PEFR reading that is 50-80% of personal best represents a moderate attack
  • Red Zone:
    • A PEFR reading that is less than 50% of personal best represents a severe attack and may identify the need for treatment in an emergency department.

Continue to Cystic Fibrosis Prevention

Last Updated: Dec 9, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Cystic Fibrosis References
  1. Aswani N, Taylor CJ, McGaw J, Pickering M, Rigby AS. Pubertal growth and development in cystic fibrosis: a retrospective review. Acta Paediatr. 2003 Sep;92(9):1029-32. [14599064]
  2. Long JM, Fauset-Jones J, Dixon MJ, Worthington-Riley D, Sharma V, Patel L, David TJ. Annual review hospital visits for patients with cystic fibrosis. J R Soc Med. 2001;94 Suppl 40:12-6. [11601158]
  3. Prescott WA Jr, Johnson CE. Antiinflammatory therapies for cystic fibrosis: past, present, and future. Pharmacotherapy. 2005 Apr;25(4):555-73. [15977917]
  4. Schoni MH, Casaulta-Aebischer C. Nutrition and lung function in cystic fibrosis patients: review. Clin Nutr. 2000 Apr;19(2):79-85. [10867724]
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