How can I help myself if I have pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP)?

  • Do not smoke, and avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Try to stay away from people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands after using the toilet, and before and after you eat.
  • Follow a healthy diet, and seek to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Get a flu shot every year (Confirm this with your doctor.). You should also have a pneumonia shot.
  • Contact your healthcare provider if your symptoms get worse.
  • You might be eligible to participate in clinical trials. (Ask your doctor about this.)
    • Contact information for clinical trials for PAP at Cleveland Clinic:
      Department of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine
      9500 Euclid Avenue, Desk A90
      Cleveland, Ohio 44195
      PAP Research Coordinator 216.445.4538 or toll-free 800.223.2273 x 54538

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/06/2018.


  • Expert knowledge and experience of healthcare providers at Cleveland Clinic
  • Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center. Autoimmune Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis. Accessed 6/11/2018.
  • Borie R, Danel C, Debray MP, et al. Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis. Eur Respir Rev. 2011;20(120):98-107.
  • National Organization for Rare Disorders. Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis. Accessed 6/11/2018.
  • Alshati MH. Alveolar proteinosis: a slow drowning in mud. Cleve Clin J Med. 2014; 81(8):468-470. doi:10.3949/ccjm.81a.13085.
  • Kumar A, Abdelmalak B, Inoue Y, Culver DA. Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis in adults: pathophysiology and clinical approach. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. January 2018. doi:10.1016/s2213-2600(18)30043-2.

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