Pulmonary fibrosis causes when a person feels difficult breathing. It happens when your lungs become scarring and stiff and leads to respiratory problems as lungs become unable to get more oxygen that is required for body needs. As a result respiratory failure, heart failure and some other complications happen.
Pulmonary fibrosis occurs when you have a relation with irritants like certain chemicals, infections, smoking, along with genetics and immune system activity. These all terms play a vital role to get pulmonary fibrosis. It is also believed that this condition happens when your lungs have inflammation, scarring and stiffness.
What are the symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis?
People also suffer with pulmonary fibrosis without any symptom. In early stages people do not diagnose it serious as they do not take it as much serious. However there are some common symptoms that help to diagnose it easily. This condition is mostly affects the older adults as they do not follow exercise and some other healthier activities. The most common is shortness of breath which is typically considered as first symptom of it. Some other symptoms are given here.
- Weight loss
- Chest discomfort
- Chronic, dry and hacking cough
- Curving of the fingernail which is known as clubbing.
These all symptoms are minor at the early stages but they give progress to this condition over time. The observed symptoms also vary from one person to another person. But some people may also show the symptoms earlier or quickly at the early stages.
Causes of pulmonary fibrosis:
Behind this condition there are many causes which give progress. Your lifestyle and daily activities may also affect your health highly. Most observed causes of pulmonary fibrosis are divided into some categories such as:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Environmental exposure
- Autoimmune diseases:
In this problem, a person’s immune system do not work efficiently even it start to attack on itself that causes autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune system is the first causes that lead serious health issues and also carry pulmonary fibrosis. There are some other reasons behind it with autoimmune disease which are given:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Lupus erythematosus, which is also known as lupus
There are some of the infections causing by bacteria and viruses like Hepatitis C, adenovirus, and herpes virus.
- Environmental exposure:
Your lifestyle and environment or workplaces play important role in your health issues and also leads pulmonary fibrosis. If a person smoking which contain many harmful chemicals they can damage and cause pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer. There are some of other things that can damage your lungs they may include:
- Grain dust
- Certain gases
- Asbestos fibers
- Silica dust
Some medications may also have side effects on the lungs. If you are using any medication without consulting a doctor so it will causes high risks of developing pulmonary fibrosis. If you feel that you may have such kind of any issue you should talk to your doctor. Doctor will treat you with some of the given drugs to reduce the symptoms.
- Chemotherapy drugs such as cyclophosphamide
- Antibiotics such as nitrofurantion and sulfasalazine
- Cardiac drugs such as amiodarone
- Biologic medications such as Adalimuman (Humira) or Etanercept (Enbrel).
Idiopathic is a term that means unknown. The exact reason of pulmonary fibrosis is unknown so it is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). It is also observed that most of the people with pulmonary fibrosis do not have idea that also suffers with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). It is also proved by National Heart, Lungs and Blood Institute.
It is also observed that according to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, about 10 to 15 percent people with IPF have another family member with pulmonary fibrosis. It is also known as familial pulmonary fibrosis or familial interstitial pneumonia. Researchers are also working on it that some gens are also involved in this condition.
Risks of pulmonary fibrosis:
The risks of pulmonary fibrosis increases when you have some of the factors that are given below:
- If you are male.
- If you are between the ages of 40 and 70.
- If you have any history of smoking.
- If you have a family history with this condition.
- It may also increase the risk when you have an autoimmune disorder that is associated with the conditions.
- It also linked with this disease if you have taken certain medications.
- If you are taking Cancer treatments such as chest radiation or any other therapy.
- If your workplace and your occupation associated with such as mining, farming or construction.
Diagnose of pulmonary fibrosis:
More than 200 kinds of lung diseases the one which is indicated most is pulmonary fibrosis. There are many of the lung diseases but when doctor is going to treat a person it becomes difficult to identify which type is attacking there. Pulmonary fibrosis affected people are observed with IPF which is also not easily diagnose disease. According to a survey, about 55 percent pulmonary fibrosis patients are being misdiagnosed at many points. In the result, it also leads other diseases such as asthma, pneumonia and bronchitis.
To diagnose this condition doctor may refer you CT scan of the chest, tissue sample, biopsy and some other tests which will give a clear indication of your current situation. Some of the diagnose steps are given below:
- Pulse oximetry
- Blood tests to look for autoimmune diseases, infections and anemia
- Arterial blood gas to more accurately assess the oxygen levels
- Sputum sample
- Pulmonary function test
Same as many other diseases there is no cure of this condition but doctor will help you to reduce the lung scarring by recommending some treatments depend on the severity of disease. Some of the treatments and lifestyle changes are given below:
- Supplemental oxygen may recommend to reduce symptoms and to feel comfort.
- Prednisone also available to reduce inflammation of lung and to suppress your immune system as well.
- Pulmonary rehabilitation
- Pirfenidone or nintedanib and some other antibiotics
- Azathioprine or mycophenolate
- Lung transplant may also recommend.
- Eating a balanced diet.
- Avoid drugs or alcohol
- Avoid excess stress
- Regular exercise