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pulmonary fibrosis

Updated on April 9, 2016

Define

Pulmonary fibrosis is a serious disease progression scarring in the lung tissue .

The current thinking , pulmonary fibrosis begins with repeated trauma in the tissue between the air sacs and small ( alveoli ) in the lungs . Damage eventually leads to scarring ( fibrosis ) , and makes breathing difficult. The most common symptoms are shortness of breath and dry cough .

Current treatments of pulmonary fibrosis include medications and therapy to improve lung function and quality of life . Some new treatments for pulmonary fibrosis in clinical trials . Meanwhile , lung transplantation may be an option for some people with pulmonary fibrosis .

The symptoms

Signs and symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis include:

Shortness of breath.

Dry cough.

Tired.

Reduce unexplained weight.

Aching muscles and joints.

The most common symptoms of lung fibrosis are shortness of breath, especially during or after physical activity and a dry cough. Usually do not appear until the very ill, and irreversible lung damage has occurred. Even then, can ease the symptoms.

Breathing problems usually become progressively worse, and finally can be seen in the regular activities - dressing, talking and even eating. At this time, the symptoms can not be ignored.

Evolution of pulmonary fibrosis and the severity of symptoms can vary greatly from person to person. Some people get sick very quickly with serious signs. Others average symptoms worse and development in the period of several months or a year.

Reason

Each inhalation , the air moves to the lungs through the large airways called bronchi . Inside the lungs , bronchi subdivide like the branches of a million smaller airways ( bronchioles ) that finally end in clusters of air bags ( alveoli ) . There are about 300 million alveoli in each lung . The alveoli are the tiny blood vessels ( capillaries ) , where oxygen is added to the blood , and carbon dioxide - a waste product of metabolism is removed.

Treatments and drugs

The lung scarring occurs in pulmonary fibrosis can not be reversed , and there is no current treatment regimens have proven effective in preventing the development of the disease eventually . Some treatments , though , can temporarily improve symptoms or slow the progression of the disease . Others help improve the quality of life .

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