Pulmonary fibrosis is a lung condition that develops as a result of damaged or scarred tissue in the lungs. Pulmonary fibrosis is the result of exposure to occupational and environmental elements, radiation, medication, GERD or other factors. The damaged tissue builds up and stiffens the air sacs in the lungs making breathing more difficult. When pulmonary fibrosis develops with no specific cause it is classified as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Symptoms of Pulmonary Fibrosis
Pulmonary fibrosis symptoms often include:
- Shortness of breath
- Dry cough
- Weight loss
- Muscle aches
Symptoms tend to worsen as the disease progresses, and may eventually lead to low blood-oxygen levels, pulmonary hypertension, respiratory failure and other serious complications if not treated effectively.
Diagnosis of Pulmonary Fibrosis
To diagnose pulmonary fibrosis, your doctor will evaluate your medical history and perform a physical exam, as well as tests such as:
- Chest X-ray
- CT scan
- Pulmonary function tests
- Exercise stress test
- Tissue biopsy
Treatment of Pulmonary Fibrosis
Treatment for pulmonary fibrosis typically includes the following:
- Oxygen therapy
- Pulmonary rehabilitation
- Lung transplant
Your doctor will determine which type of treatment is most appropriate for your condition based on a thorough evaluation of your individual condition.