About pulmonary fibrosis

What is pulmonary fibrosis?

Damage and scarring in lung tissue lead to pulmonary fibrosis. The scars thicken the tissue around and between the air sacs in your lungs, making it difficult for oxygen to pass into the bloodstream. 

  • The reason for scarring can be multiple causes, but in most cases, doctors can’t find the exact reason for the wound. Such conditions are known as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
  • Exposure to numerous toxins and pollutants, dust, and fibers for a long duration leads to lung damage.
  • Radiation therapy for lungs or breast cancer sometimes also results in Pulmonary fibrosis. 
  • Many drugs like heart medication, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory drugs can also damage the lungs.
  • Sarcoidosis, Scleroderma, Pneumonia, and Polymyositis are some medical conditions that can also result in Pulmonary fibrosis.
  • The condition in which medical experts can’t find any reason behind Pulmonary fibrosis is known as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. However, researchers say it may happen due to some viruses and overconsumption of tobacco. 
  • A person with pulmonary fibrosis may experience symptoms like shortness of breath (dyspnea), dry cough, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, and aching muscles and joints.
  • The lung damage caused by Pulmonary fibrosis can’t be fixed or reversed. In such a situation, a lung transplant might be appropriate. however, medication can ease the symptoms

What are the symptoms for pulmonary fibrosis?

Aching muscles and joints symptom was found in the pulmonary fibrosis condition

Pulmonary fibrosis can occur due to multiple reasons, but most doctors can’t examine the cause of Pulmonary fibrosis. However, the symptoms take time to show or develop quickly.

  • The problem with breathing (dyspnea): It is an intense, tight feeling in the chest, breathlessness, and a feeling of suffocation. It is a sign of a serious health issue. 
  • A dry cough: The person may expect a Cough without phlegm and Mucus in such a situation. However, it is difficult to find where a person has Pulmonary fibrosis from a dry Cough but if it stays longer than a week visiting a doctor is advisable.
  • Fatigue: Since the person is not getting enough oxygen in the body due to the scar in the lungs and being a hindrance in providing oxygen to the bloodstream, the person may experience fatigue.
  • Unexplained weight loss: Usually, Pulmonary fibrosis undergoes Weight loss without making any changes in daily routine and diet. The person may experience Weakness and nausea. 
  • Aching muscle: Due to insufficient oxygen in the blood, the muscles will not recover and start aching.
  • Cyanosis: It is a bluish color of the skin. It occurs due to a lack of oxygen in the blood.
  • Clubbing: Toes and fingertips started taking some other form than the original.

What are the causes for pulmonary fibrosis?

There are several reasons behind pulmonary fibrosis. They are as follows:

  • The lung comes in contact with toxins, e.g., asbestos, silica, or coal dust. This consists of workers serving the industry of coal mining along with sandblasting. 
  • Some medicines like bleomycin, amiodarone, or nitrofurantoin might be causing pulmonary fibrosis. 
  • Pulmonary fibrosis could also be due to the person coming in touch with molds. This is the reason behind chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis. 
  • Heredity is another reason behind Pulmonary fibrosis. 
  • Smoking causes pulmonary fibrosis.
  •  There is a lot of risk of getting pulmonary fibrosis among ranchers, farmers, etc. 
  • Pulmonary fibrosis is common among stone cutters. It affects the hairdressers too.
  • There is damage to the lungs due to radiation exposure. 
  • Pulmonary fibrosis is a side effect of cardiac medicine.
  • Chemotherapy is a factor behind pulmonary fibrosis. An example of a drug is bleomycin, which creates inflammation in the lungs. This causes breathing problems. 
  • Exposure to asbestos fibers, coal, silica, and grain dust will affect the lungs. 
  • The droppings of birds affect the lungs. Histoplasma is a fungus found in bird poop. 
  • Dust of hard metal is a reason for developing this disease.

What are the treatments for pulmonary fibrosis?

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis  (IPF) is currently incurable. The major goal of treatment is to alleviate as many symptoms as possible while also slowing the progression of the disease. 

  • Drugs such as pirfenidone, and nintedanib may help to halt the progression of lung scarring. These drugs are known as anti-fibrotic medicines because they have been shown in clinical trials to decrease the progression of fibrosis or scarring in the lungs.
  • Oxygen therapy can be used. Increasing the amount of oxygen in your body allows you to breathe more freely. It may also help you feel more energized and stronger.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation- staying active in this specialized fitness program might help people with pulmonary fibrosis perform their daily activities with ease.
  • A lung transplant occurs when one or both damaged lungs are replaced with a healthy lung (or lungs) from a donor. It can boost your health and overall quality of life. A lung transplant is a big procedure for which not everyone is a suitable candidate. 
  • Many long-term lung illnesses require pulmonary rehabilitation, which seeks to help patients accept their condition, discover the best ways to manage it and increase their capacity to operate daily without extreme breathlessness.

List of conditions:

It is a medical condition in which the lung tissues thicken due to scar or damage in lungs and acting as a barrier between oxygen and the bloodstream.

List of symptoms

  •  shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  • dry cough
  •  Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Aching muscles and joints

List of drugs

  • Furosemide
  • Lasix
  • Bumex

What are the risk factors for pulmonary fibrosis?

There are many risk factors that increase your chances of developing pulmonary fibrosis. They include: 

  • Age: Although pulmonary fibrosis has been identified in youngsters and infants, it is far more common in middle-aged and older adults. The majority of people who develop pulmonary fibrosis do so in their later years of life, between the ages of 50 and 70.
  • Sex: Men are more likely than women to get pulmonary fibrosis. However, the cases of women also seem to have increased in recent years.
  • Smoking: Cigarette smoking raises your chances of developing pulmonary fibrosis. Smokers and former smokers are far more likely than nonsmokers to acquire pulmonary fibrosis. Patients with emphysema may develop pulmonary fibrosis.
  • Working with dust or fumes: Breathing in chemicals or toxic substances regularly can harm the lungs. Farmers, ranchers, hair stylists, stone cutters/polishers, and metal craftsmen may be more vulnerable.
  • Other medical conditions: In some circumstances, pulmonary fibrosis is caused by another medical condition like the autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis, or even a viral infection.
  • Other factors: The use of some chemotherapy medications or radiation treatments to the chest can raise your risk of developing pulmonary fibrosis. Some varieties of pulmonary fibrosis are passed down through generations, and genetic factors may play a role.

Is there a cure/medications for pulmonary fibrosis?

No current treatment has proven to be useful in slowing the progress of pulmonary fibrosis. Some medications may temporarily relieve symptoms or halt the progression of the condition. Others may be able to assist in improving one's quality of life.

  •  Newer drugs, such as pirfenidone (Esbriet) and nintedanib, may be recommended by your doctor (Ofev). Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis can be slowed with the use of these drugs. Additional drugs, as well as novel formulations of current treatments, are being developed, but the FDA has not yet approved them.
  • Although using the oxygen will not prevent lung damage, it will help to make breathing and exercising less difficult. It prevents or mitigates the effects of low blood oxygen levels. Some people carry an oxygen canister with them, which allows them to be more mobile.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation can help you better control your symptoms and function on a daily basis. You can engage in some physical activity to strengthen your endurance. Breathing strategies will help you breathe more efficiently.
  • Anti-acid drugs may be prescribed by doctors to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a digestive disorder that is frequent in persons with pulmonary fibrosis.
  • For those with pulmonary fibrosis, lung transplantation may be a possibility.

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