Pulmonary Fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition in which scarring occurs in the lungs; it can be caused by an infection (such as tuberculosis or pneumonia) or injury or by breathing certain materials, such as asbestos. But sometimes no cause can be found for pulmonary fibrosis. Pulmonary fibrosis makes the lungs less elastic and can lead to breathing problems.

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Definition

Pulmonary fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition in which scarring occurs in the lungs; it can be caused by an infection (such as tuberculosis or pneumonia) or injury or by breathing certain materials, such as asbestos. But sometimes no cause can be found for pulmonary fibrosis. Pulmonary fibrosis makes the lungs less elastic and can lead to breathing problems.

Symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis include:

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Decreased ability to be active.
  • Dry cough.

Treatment for pulmonary fibrosis focuses on relieving symptoms. But pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive disease, and there is no known cure.

Diagnostics

How is pulmonary fibrosis diagnosed?

It's diagnosed if a CT scan shows a "honeycomb" pattern in the lung. In some cases, a lung biopsy may be used to confirm the diagnosis.

Self-care Treatment

How can you care for yourself when you have pulmonary fibrosis?

Self-care aims to make breathing as easy as possible. You can help prevent lung infections by avoiding smoke, dirty air, and sick children and adults. Keeping up with vaccinations like pneumonia, TDAP, and your annual flu vaccine can also help prevent new lung infections and help you stay healthy.

Signs and Symptoms

What are the symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis?

Pulmonary fibrosis makes it hard to breathe. Symptoms may include shortness of breath and a dry cough. Symptoms usually get worse over time. The change in symptoms may happen quickly or more slowly.

Treatment

How is pulmonary fibrosis treated?

Treatment for pulmonary fibrosis aims to make breathing easier and slow the progress of the disease. Treatment includes medicines and oxygen to ease shortness of breath. Your doctor may use pulmonary function tests (PFTs) to check how well treatment is working and provide the best care.

What Causes It

What causes pulmonary fibrosis?

In most cases, doctors don't know what causes pulmonary fibrosis. Possible causes include lung infection and injury to the lungs from smoking or being around smoke, dirty air, chemicals, and dust.

What It Is

What is pulmonary fibrosis?

Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition in which scarring happens in the lungs. It makes the lungs less elastic and causes breathing problems. Pulmonary fibrosis usually gets worse over time. You can't undo the damage to your lungs. But you can take steps to prevent more damage and feel better.

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Lung and Breathing Conditions
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Pulmonary Fibrosis

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