Table of Contents:
- What is pulmonary fibrosis?
- Symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis
- What are the causes of pulmonary fibrosis?
- Can it be prevented?
- What is the treatment?
What is pulmonary fibrosis?
A person has pulmonary fibrosis when the tissue in his or her lungs is scarring. The tissue of the lungs transforms into a hard and thick form. As this occurs, it becomes difficult to get oxygen to the blood, making it difficult to catch your breath.
This lung disease can develop into idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, when no origin of the disease can be found.
Symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis
Pulmonary fibrosis manifests itself in the following ways: dry cough, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle and joint pain, and enlargement of the extremities of the feet or hands.
However, the symptoms of fibrosis vary from one individual to another, as it depends on the evolution of the disease. The pace of the disease varies from person to person: it can accelerate and worsen or evolve slowly, taking months or years.
With treatment, it can be made to
to evolve at a slower rate
What are the causes of pulmonary fibrosis?
There are several causes that can originate pulmonary fibrosis. This classification can be organized into three main groups: occupational and environmental factors, radiation treatments and medications.
- Occupational and environmental factors: staying in contact with the following chemicals can damage your lungs: Silica flour, asbestos fibers, hard metal dust, coal dust, grain dust, bird and animal droppings.
- Radiation treatments: Patients who are exposed to radiation therapy for lung or breast cancer may experience signs of lung damage months or, in some cases, years later. The seriousness of the disease can vary depending on: the proportion of the lung that was exposed to radiation, the total amount of radiation received, whether chemotherapy was also used, or the presence of unknown lung disease.
- Medications: there are many drugs that are harmful to the lungs such as chemotherapy drugs, heart medications, some antibiotics and some anti-inflammatory drugs.
Can it be prevented?
The best way to prevent pulmonary fibrosis is to avoid possible sources of infection. That is, avoid coming into contact with the chemicals, radiation treatments and medications mentioned above.
Workplaces that are in contact with chemical or hazardous substances must prevent their workers from future pulmonary fibrosis.
What is the treatment?
The act of scarring in the lung is not reversible and the disease cannot be blocked, as it will continue to progress. However, treatment can slow down the progression of the disease.
The procedure is varied according to the patient, who must consult with a specialist to administer the most appropriate in each case. It can be through medication, oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation or lung transplantation.