What is Pulmonary Fibrosis?
Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease that scars the lungs, causing intricate pulmonary passageways to thicken and harden and obstructing the free passage of oxygen through the walls of the lungs’ tiny air sacs (alveoli) into the bloodstream. The resulting lack of oxygen in the bloodstream leaves pulmonary fibrosis sufferers short of breath even after periods of prolonged rest. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a form of pulmonary fibrosis with no known cause. Pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive disease that varies in the rate of degeneration from person to person.
Pulmonary fibrosis is a subset of a group of conditions referred to as interstitial lung disease.
The term interstitial lung disease refers to conditions that lead to inflammation or scarring of the lung’s delicate tissues. Some autoimmune disorders, specifically connective tissue disorders like rheumatoid arthritis can cause interstitial lung disease. Scarring of the lungs is irreversible. However, treatment options are available.
Typically, sufferers of pulmonary fibrosis do not live more than 5 years after a diagnosis.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis has no specific demographic. However it does affect men more than women. It typically occurs in individuals between the age of 50 and 70, and has an increased risk for individuals who smoke cigarettes.
The symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis differ by individual.
- Pulmonary fibrosis causes scar tissue to form in the lungs’ air sacs, making it more difficult for the lungs to deliver oxygen to the bloodstream. A type of interstitial lung ... Read more
- How do non-smokers get pulmonary fibrosis? While the specific cause may be unknown, there are a few possible causes. Learn more about pulmonary fibrosis causes and treatments here. Read more