There are four total stages of chronic lung diseases. The stages range from stage 1 or mild stage to very severe or End-Stage Lung Disease.

End-Stage Lung Disease

End-Stage Lung Disease happens when your lungs can’t satisfactorily evacuate carbon dioxide or supply your body with the oxygen it needs.  These diseases and conditions can influence the stream of air and blood into and out of your lungs.

Most long-term lung conditions usually get worse gradually over several years. The most widely recognized side effect is feeling increasingly out of breath.  Some people’s breathing might get worse more quickly, over weeks or months.  Lung disease affects people differently and at varying rates of progression.  For some people, lung disease progresses rapidly, and for others, it progresses slowly over time.

End-stage lung disease or stage 4 describes the most severe form of lung disease. With a diagnosis of end-stage lung disease, people often have noticeable symptoms, including increased shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing and production of mucus.

People with end-stage lung disease often have significant airflow limitations. Even simple tasks like taking a shower, making the bed and cooking a meal become nearly impossible to do.  In addition, people with end-stage lung disease often feel exhausted.  Typically, lung function drops to 30 percent or less during end-stage lung disease.  Also, many people have low blood oxygen levels.  Remember, the term “end-stage lung disease” is used to describe stage 4 lung disease.

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End-Stage Lung Disease Symptoms and Factors

The signs and symptoms depend on the underlying cause and the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your bloodstream.

Overall, the most common physical symptoms are:

  • Confusion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue (easily tired)
  • Fast breathing (rapid breathing sounds)
  • Feeling more anxious and depressed
  • Feeling increasingly severely out of breath
  • Difficult to maintain a healthy body weight
  • Becoming housebound due to feeling so out of breath
  • Reducing lung function making breathing more difficult
  • Having frequent flare-ups and hospital admissions or needing intensive home support

End-stage lung disease can be caused by a variety of diseases including: 

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or emphysema

    • COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. It often develops slowly and gets worse over time.
    • The leading cause of COPD is cigarette smoking but long-term exposure to other lung irritants, such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust, also may contribute to COPD.
    • COPD can cause coughing that produces large amounts of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.

    Scarring of the lungs (pulmonary fibrosis)

    • Results in scarring of the lung tissue that restricts the ability of the lung to fully expand with breathing decreasing lung function and leading to shortness of breath.
    • Certain types of fibrosis can be caused by factors in the environment such as mold, being around birds, or exposure to certain chemicals or lung irritants.
    • For many patients, with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, no cause can be found.  As the lungs become more scarred, patients have worsening shortness of breath, decreased oxygen levels, and a chronic dry cough.

    Cystic fibrosis (CF)

    • A disease that affects the cells that produce your body’s mucus, sweat, and digestive juices. It is an inherited disease, which means it can be passed only to children with parents who both have the CF gene.
    • Some people may not experience symptoms until adolescence or adulthood, depending on the severity of the disease.

    Pulmonary vascular disease (primary pulmonary hypertension)

    • A form of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in your lungs and the right side of your heart. The disease develops when the arteries in your lungs, called pulmonary arteries, and capillaries become narrowed, blocked, or damaged.
    • Pulmonary hypertension can cause an irregular heartbeat, racing pulse, dizziness, and shortness of breath, particularly when exercising.
    • When severe, pulmonary hypertension can make it difficult for the right side of the heart to function well, leading to right heart failure.  Patients with right heart failure can develop abdominal fluid and swelling of their legs.
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    Cardiothoracic Surgeon to treat End Stage Lung Disease

    A cardiothoracic surgeon is a medical doctor who specializes in surgical procedures of the heart, lungs, oesophagus, and other organs in the chest.  This includes surgeons who can be called heart or cardiac surgeons, cardiovascular surgeons, general thoracic surgeons, and congenital heart surgeons.

    The outlook depends on the severity and type of underlying disease, how quickly treatment begins, and your overall health.

    If your disease continues to worsen or if you are no longer able to manage your condition with therapies and medication alone, you may need to talk with your doctor about the possibility of meeting with a cardiothoracic surgeon to discuss a lung transplant.

    Treatment Options for End-Stage Lung Disease

    Chronic lung disease is a progressive disease and has no medication.  However, there are treatment options available.  You will work together with your doctor to develop a plan.  As lung disease is progressive, your doctor can change your treatment plan to meet your needs from time to time.

    In any case, this symptom can be controlled by breathing.  Breathing can be improved using inhalers, tablets and sometimes nebulisers.  Concerns and depression can be the basis when your breath becomes more difficult and can make her feel worse.  Improvements in your mind can often lead to an increase in your breathing and movement. Possible treatment options for end-stage lung disease include challenging long-term invasive transfer and replacement in terms of resources.

    For patients with end-stage lung disease, lung transplantation may be considered when alternative treatment alternatives are no longer valid.  For all patients with the end-stage lung infection, oxygen therapy should be considered when you experience shortness of breath and decrease the level of oxygen continuously.


    How much does it cost to treat End-Stage Lung Disease?

    For patients covered by health insurance, the cost for lung disease costs usually consists of doctor visits, labs and prescription medicine and 10% – 50% together for surgical procedures and others, which can achieve the maximum annual maximum expected pockets.

    End-Stage Lung Disease treatments are usually protected by health insurance, although some plans may not include drugs or individual treatments.  One of the ways to know the overall cost of this treatment is best to check with the hospital.


    Who can help you with this cost

    Contact our Life Insurance Planner who is familiar with the costs involved in different hospitals.  Get in touch with us to understand the insurance coverage.
    Be advised correctly.  Call us today at +6012 684 0948.

    Levine Lee

    Life Planner at Red Cover Life Planning
    Levine Lee is an expert AIA insurance agent and life planner. She has over 12 years of working experience with AIA and ING Insurance as an insurance agent and life planner.This makes her efficient and effective to manage clients for AIA Group Insurance Plans, AIA Life Insurance and AIA Takaful policies.Based in the Klang Valley in Malaysia, Levine serves her customers all over Malaysia, as they move between cities because of job changes.

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    End-Stage Lung Disease
    End-Stage Lung Disease occurs when your lungs can not satisfactorily transfer carbon dioxide or supply your body with the required oxygen. These diseases and conditions can affect air and blood flow in and out of your lungs.
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