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What is pulmonary fibrosis and how dangerous it is
What is pulmonary fibrosis and how dangerous it is

Getting rid of the disease will not work. But you can slow down its development.

What is pulmonary fibrosis and how dangerous it is
What is pulmonary fibrosis and how dangerous it is

What is pulmonary fibrosis

It is an Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis disease in which the lungs gradually become scarred. Seals first appear at the edges, then spread closer to the center. Oxygen does not enter the body through the affected areas. The person develops shortness of breath.

Basically, people over 40 suffer from the disorder, most of them are men. The predictions for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) are different for everyone. In some, pulmonary fibrosis develops rapidly. Others may live for more than 10 years after diagnosis.

Why does pulmonary fibrosis occur?

In most cases, the exact cause of the disease cannot be determined. Then fibrosis is called idiopathic. But doctors still identify Pulmonary fibrosis factors that can spoil the condition of the lungs.

Harmful production or bad ecology

Toxins that enter the lungs along with the air are seriously harmful. These are silica, grain, coal dust, asbestos fibers, microparticles of hard metals and droppings of birds or animals.

Radiation therapy

If a person has undergone a course due to lung or breast cancer, after a few months or years they may show signs of fibrosis. Several factors affect the degree of damage. For example, the dose of radiation and the combination of the procedure with chemotherapy.


Antibiotics containing nitrofurantoin or ethambutol can damage the lung tissue. Also, scars sometimes appear after taking chemotherapy and anti-inflammatory drugs. Drugs for treating irregular heartbeats are also considered potentially unsafe.

Some diseases

Lung fibrosis can develop due to pre-existing disorders. For example, dermatomyositis, polymyositis, mixed connective tissue disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis, scleroderma, or pneumonia.


So far, this is only a hypothesis Viral Infections Raise Risk of IPF But Not of Disease Worsening, Analysis Study Reports. But researchers believe infections increase the risk of lung fibrosis by a factor of three. Herpes viruses of 4, 5, 7 and 8 types can be dangerous.


Smoking and Pulmonary Fibrosis rejection appears much more often in smokers than in those who live without a bad habit. How many cigarettes a person smokes a day or how long ago he quit does not matter.


Doctors found that in 15% of Pulmonary Fibrosis and Genetics patients, the disease was associated with a gene mutation. But how exactly the violation causes pulmonary fibrosis is not yet clear.

What are the symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis

An accurate diagnosis is made only by a pulmonologist after a thorough examination. But the disease can be suspected on its own by several signs of Pulmonary fibrosis:

  • dyspnea;
  • dry cough;
  • fatigue;
  • needless weight loss;
  • muscle and joint pain;
  • widening and rounding of the tips of the fingers and toes;
  • loss of appetite Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF);
  • pain and tightness in the chest.

If you notice one or more symptoms in yourself, you need to urgently see a doctor.

What is the danger of pulmonary fibrosis

Sometimes the disease causes complications of Pulmonary fibrosis, which further undermine health.

Pulmonary hypertension

Healed tissue compresses small vessels. It is more difficult for blood to flow through them. Because of this, the pressure in the lungs rises.

Right-sided heart failure

Due to pulmonary hypertension, the right side of the heart is forced to work harder. This is necessary to pump blood through partially blocked arteries. The tension increases, the muscle thickens and expands. If the condition continues for a long time, the right ventricle fails.

Lungs' cancer

The mechanism of development of oncology in pulmonary fibrosis is still unclear. But doctors suggest that this is possible. According to some studies, Risk factors and clinical characteristics of lung cancer in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: a retrospective cohort study, over time, cancer appears in 14.5% of patients.

Other violations

Progressive fibrosis can lead to blood clots in the lungs, organ collapse, or infections.

Respiratory failure

Appears when the oxygen level in the blood becomes dangerously low. If the Respiratory Failure condition develops abruptly, the person may die. He needs urgent help, which sometimes includes mechanical ventilation. In the chronic form, doctors prescribe medications and daily inhalations.

How is pulmonary fibrosis diagnosed?

A pulmonologist examines a family history, finds out if a person is in contact with harmful substances, and with the help of a stethoscope listens to what sounds the lungs make. If the doctor suspects fibrosis, the patient will go for tests. There are several ways Pulmonary fibrosis can diagnose the disease.

Chest X-ray

Scar tissue can be seen in the picture. If the results are normal, the doctor will order other tests to find out what causes the shortness of breath.

CT scan

The tomograph takes several x-rays from different angles. As a result, an image is obtained, which is a transverse section of organs. This method determines the degree of damage to the lungs.

Ultrasound of the heart

Sound waves bounce off the heart and create a moving image on the computer. During the examination, the doctor assesses the pressure in the right ventricle.

Blood gas analysis

Blood is drawn from the patient from an artery in the wrist. The lab technician then measures the carbon dioxide and oxygen levels in the sample.


During the test, a person clamps a tube connected to the device in his mouth, and then exhales quickly and forcefully through it. The device determines how much air the lungs can hold.

Pulse Oximetry

The doctor attaches a small clothespin-shaped device to the patient's finger. It measures the level of oxygen saturation in the blood. If the indicators are below normal, the doctor will find out what is the reason.

Exercise test

The doctor puts several Diagnosing Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis sensors on the person. With them, the patient is engaged on an exercise bike or treadmill. The devices measure heart rate, blood pressure and blood oxygen levels. The data helps the pulmonologist understand how the lungs work.


The doctor switches to this method if other examinations have not shown any violations. During the procedure, the doctor inserts a small flexible tube, a bronchoscope, into the patient's lungs through the nose or mouth. With its help, a tissue sample is taken, in size no larger than the point of a pin. Its composition is being investigated in the laboratory.

Bronchial lavage

It is carried out together with bronchoscopy. Through the tube, the doctor injects a small amount of salt water into the lungs and immediately removes it. The cells of the bronchi and alveoli remain in the solution. The composition of this liquid is analyzed by a laboratory assistant.


The Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis operation is performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes an incision in the patient's side and inserts an endoscope, that is, a tube with a flashlight at the end, between the lungs and the chest wall. With this tool, the doctor cuts out a small piece of tissue. The sample is later examined in a laboratory to look for signs of scarring.

How to treat lung fibrosis

It is impossible to restore the healed tissue. But you can slow down the progression of the disease. Treatment for Pulmonary fibrosis depends on the severity of the condition.

Change your lifestyle

In order not to worsen the state of health, doctors recommend that Pulmonary Fibrosis take care of yourself: quit smoking, start exercising regularly and eliminate junk food. People with fibrosis should avoid stress and get more rest.

Take medication

Your doctor may prescribe Pulmonary fibrosis medications to help prevent new scarring. The medicines contain pirfenidone and nintedanib. Sometimes the active ingredients cause side effects: diarrhea, nausea, rash.

Breathe oxygen in cylinders

This method does not stop disease progression, but relieves Pulmonary fibrosis symptoms. In people who use balloons, the pressure in the right ventricle of the heart decreases, sleep improves and the level of blood oxygen saturation increases.

Get vaccinated

Pneumonia or the flu can affect your health even more. To be on the safe side, people with fibrosis need to be vaccinated regularly with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis: Management and Treatment.

Undergo pulmonary rehabilitation

Strength and breathing exercises help build endurance and improve lung function. The attending physician can also advise on diet and refer the patient to a psychologist. Diagnosis and treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Get a lung transplant

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis: Management and Treatment is offered to people under 70 years of age with severe lung damage. Sometimes the operation causes complications of Pulmonary fibrosis. For example, rejection of a donor organ or infection.

What to do to prevent pulmonary fibrosis

Sometimes a violation cannot be prevented. But you can reduce the risks. Here's how to do it Pulmonary Fibrosis:

  • quit or not start smoking;
  • avoid secondhand smoke;
  • wear a respirator when working with hazardous chemicals.

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