In this Article
- ARDS facts*
- What is ARDS?
- ARDS overview
- What are other names for ARDS?
- What causes ARDS?
- Who is at risk for ARDS?
- What are the signs and symptoms of ARDS?
- How is ARDS diagnosed?
- How is ARDS treated?
- What is the prognoisis of ARDS?
What is the Prognosis of ARDS?
Some people fully recover from ARDS. Others continue to have health problems. After you go home from the hospital, you may have one or more of the following problems:
- Shortness of breath. After treatment, lung function in most people who have ARDS improves within 3 months and is back to normal within 6 months. For others, it may take up to a year or more. Some people have breathing problems for the rest of their lives.
- Tiredness and muscle weakness. Being in the hospital and on a ventilator (a machine that helps you breathe) can cause your muscles to weaken. You also may feel very tired following treatment.
- Depression. Many people who've had ARDS feel depressed for a while after treatment.
- Problems with memory and thinking clearly. Certain medicines and a low oxygen level in your blood can cause these problems.
- These health problems may go away within a few weeks, or they may last longer. Talk with your doctor about how to deal with these problems. Also, see the suggestions below.
You can take steps to recover from ARDS and improve your quality of life. For example, ask your family and friends for help with everyday activities.
If you smoke, quit. Smoking can worsen lung problems. Talk to your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit. Also, try to avoid secondhand smoke and other lung irritants, such as harmful fumes.
Go to pulmonary rehabilitation (rehab) if your doctor recommends it. A rehab program can show you how to return to normal activities and stay active. Rehab may include exercise training, education, and counseling.
Your rehab team may include doctors, nurses, and other specialists. They will work with you to create a program that meets your needs.
Emotional Issues and Support
Living with ARDS may cause fear, anxiety, depression, and stress. It's important to talk about how you feel with your health care team. Talking with a professional counselor also can help. If you're very depressed, your doctor may recommend medicines or other treatments that can improve your quality of life.
Joining a patient support group may help you adjust to living with ARDS. You can see how other people who have the same symptoms have coped with them. Talk to your doctor about local support groups or check with an area medical center.
Support from family and friends also can help relieve stress and anxiety. Let your loved ones know how you feel and what they can do to help you.
National Institutes of Health. ARDS
Last Editorial Review: 2/1/2010
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