Advances in CF care, screening and treatment mean that length and quality of life are improving. Currently, about half cystic fibrosis patients will live longer than 40 years and children born with the condition now will probably live longer than this.
However, treatments can be time consuming and may have side-effects. Treatments can include physical therapy and (inhaled) medicines. Low digestive efficiency can also be managed by a high calorie diet (individuals with low digestive efficiency may have to consume more than 1,000 extra calories a day), which can pose particular challenges, especially for young children.
In severe cases of CF, the lungs may stop working properly and all medical treatments may no longer help, known as respiratory failure. Here, a lung transplant may be recommended. This serious operation carries significant risks (and is only possible if suitable donor lungs can be obtained) but can greatly improve quality and length of life for people with CF.