Pulmonary fibrosis is the scarring of the deep tissues of the lungs which can develop either slowly or quickly. The tissue gets thick and stiff making it difficult to breathe, reducing the oxygen levels in the blood.
The most common symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis are:
The other pulmonary fibrosis symptoms which develop with time include:
In most of the cases, pulmonary fibrosis does not have any specific cause. This is called as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The damage can be due to different reasons including:
The below factors can make you more prone to getting pulmonary fibrosis
If pulmonary fibrosis is not addressed over time it can result in the below complications:
If no other treatment options are helpful, then a lung transplant is recommended. This is recommended for patients who are in a good physical condition, have no other life-threatening conditions, and are ready to accept the risks of surgery.
Your doctor takes your family history, medical history and will cross check with your work environment. A physical examination is then performed following other diagnostic tests. They may include one or more of the below:
|Test type||Purpose of the test|
|Chest X-ray||Creates pictures of the structures in the chest Scarring in the lungs can be detected|
|Breathing test (Spirometry)||To check the breathing ability of the lungs and detect the extent of lung damage|
|Blood tests||To detect the oxygen levels and signs of infection|
|CT (Computerized Tomography) scan||Provides sharper and more detailed pictures of the lungs Detects the extent of lung damage|
|Lung biopsy||Examines the lung tissue under microscope It is the best way to diagnose pulmonary fibrosis. Shows the extent of lung damage|
|Exercise test||To check the purification of the blood by the lungs|
Pulmonary fibrosis cannot be cured. However, treatments currently available can prevent further scarring of the lungs and relieve the symptoms so that you can stay active.
The following pulmonary fibrosis treatment options are available:Medicines : Several medications are available for treating pulmonary fibrosis. The choice of the drug depends on your overall health.
Certain lifestyle changes and home remedies can help the patients with pulmonary fibrosis. They are:Do not smoke : The first important measure that a person with lung disease should take is to stop smoking. You may take help from a doctor or a counselor for this. Do not allow others to smoke or better avoid such places because second-hand smoking is also injurious.