Pulmonary Fibrosis – Symptoms, Causes, Stages and Treatment

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 Pulmonary Fibrosis – Symptoms, Causes, Stages and Treatment

Pulmonary fibrosis is a type of lung diseases that affect the respiratory system. It scars and thickens lung tissue and impacts the connecting tissue in the lung and the alveoli. And, the lung damage gradually gets worse over time. According to the doctors of Pulmonology hospitals in Hyderabad, Pulmonary fibrosis may cause shortness of breath and lead to other disorders.

Let us find the details on Pulmonary Fibrosis

Above, we have discussed about what is Pulmonary Fibrosis. To understand it further let us read the article below.

How Common Is Pulmonary Fibrosis?

Pulmonary fibrosis is more common than we once thought.  Nearly 132,000 people are affected in the United States and about 50,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Also, it is believed to be more common in men than women, and mostly affects people over 50 years of age. Pulmonary Fibrosis associated with other diseases is also a possibility.

What Causes Pulmonary Fibrosis?

Pulmonary fibrosis can be caused by many conditions including Chronic inflammatory processes, Infections, Environmental agents  such as asbestos, silica, etc;  Exposure to ionizing radiation to treat tumors of the chest, Chronic conditions.  There are also certain drugs causing Pulmonary Fibrosis. According to medical experts, people can inherit this disease through genes that run in families. However, inheriting medical disorder such as pulmonary fibrosis is very rare.

What Are The Symptoms Of Pulmonary Fibrosis?

Pulmonary fibrosis doesn’t affect every patient in the similar way. Its symptoms might be similar to common cold or an upper respiratory infection. Pulmonary fibrosis symptoms include shortness of breath, dry cough that doesn’t go away, fatigue and weight loss that’s not on purpose or easily explained.

As the disease progresses, some people experience bluish skin or grey or white skin around the mouth or eyes from too little oxygen in the blood.

Different Types Of Pulmonary Fibrosis

The two well-known types of pulmonary fibrosis are Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) and Familial pulmonary fibrosis (FPF).

1. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)

It is a serious lung disease. Oxygen moves through tiny air sacs in your lungs and into your bloodstream as you breathe. Thereafter, it travels to your organs. IPF causes scar tissue to grow inside your lung. Thus, makes it hard to breathe and it does gets worse over time.

2. Familial Pulmonary Fibrosis (FPF)

It is defined as an idiopathic diffuse parenchymal lung disease. It can affect two or more members of the same primary biological family.

Pulmonary Fibrosis Stages

Generally, there is no formal staging system for pulmonary fibrosis. However, depending on the severity of the disease Physicians describe the disease as mild, moderate, severe or very severe.

How Is Pulmonary Fibrosis Diagnosed?

For the diagnosis of this disease, your doctor may review your medical and family history, discuss your signs and symptoms, and conduct a physical exam. During the physical exam, your doctor will carefully to your lungs while you breathe and suggest one or more of the following tests.

Chest X-ray – A chest X-ray may show the scar tissue typical of pulmonary fibrosis. And, it may be useful for monitoring the course of the illness and treatment. At times the chest X-ray may be normal, and further tests may help to explain your shortness of breath.

Computerized tomography (CT) scan – It helps to combine X-ray images taken from many different angles to produce cross-sectional images of internal structures in the body. A CT scan of high resolution can be particularly helpful in determining the extent of lung damage caused by pulmonary fibrosis.

Computerized tomography (CT) scan

Echocardiogram – It uses sound waves to visualize the heart. It can produce still images of your heart structures to show how your heart is functioning and evaluate the amount of pressure occurring in the right side of your heart.

Other than the tests mentioned above, several types of pulmonary function tests may be conducted to measure your lung volumes and diffusing capacity.

Can Pulmonary Fibrosis Be Reversed?

Lung damage due to pulmonary fibrosis is not reversible. But, starting treatment after diagnosis as early as possible may help your lungs work better and longer.

What Are The Complications Of Pulmonary Fibrosis?

The complications that occur due to the failure of the pulmonary system are shortness of breath, reduction in activities and signs of heart failure. Due to the failure of lungs, the blood pressure in the lungs rises, and failure of the right side of the heart which pumps the blood through the lungs. Also, it can result in fatigue, leg swelling, and overall fluid accumulation in the body.

 Pulmonary Fibrosis Treatment

According to the doctors, the treatment options for pulmonary fibrosis are very limited. Presently, there is no evidence that any medications can help this condition, since scarring is permanent. And, Lung transplantation is the only therapeutic option available. However, research trials using different drugs that may reduce fibrous scarring are ongoing and drugs such as nintedanib and pirfenidone have offered new hopes.

To know more about Pulmonary Fibrosis, its causes, symptoms and treatment, you must reach out to a Pulmonologist.

 

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