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Pulmonary fibrosis, what is it? Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition of the lungs. Breathing difficulties, more important, make them the main symptoms.

Definition of pulmonary fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis is a perforation of one or more lungs, leading to increased difficulty in breathing.

The exact cause of the disease is sometimes unclear or unknown. Nevertheless, the most widely impacted individuals are between 70 and 75 years old.

Different treatments can help reduce the severity of the disease, and limit its complications. In addition, no treatment is currently available, completely healing pulmonary fibrosis.

The different forms of pulmonary fibrosis:

  • idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • hypersensitive pneumonia
  • pneumoconiosis
  • pulmonary fibrosis medicated

The appearance of each of these forms is rare. It is not a type of cancer and pulmonary fibrosis is not contagious.

Causes of pulmonary fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis is caused by progressive perforation of the pulmonary alveoli. The lungs are then depleted of oxygen and breathing difficulties appear.

Every individual can be concerned by this kind of disease. Nevertheless, the people most at risk are: people over 70, as well as smokers.

The exact cause of such a condition is unknown. In addition, pulmonary fibrosis may be related to:

  • exposure to certain dusts, especially metals or wood
  • a viral infection
  • genetics: for 1 case out of 20, it is a hereditary transmission
  • a gastro-oesophageal reflux
  • Tobacco consumption.

Symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis

The symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis are progressive and become more severe over time.

These clinical signs are similar to:

  • breathing difficulties, causing a reduction in breathing
  • a dry and persistent cough
  • general weakness (fatigue)
  • loss of appetite and weight
  • Swelling at the fingertips.

Many patients experience no breathing difficulties at first. The respiratory signs are, first of all, felt during an effort. They increase over time, impacting the patient’s daily life.

Medical examinations can confirm or deny the presence of the disease. Among these :

  • breathing tests
  • blood tests
  • an X-ray of the lungs
  • a lung biopsy

Risk factors for pulmonary fibrosis

The risk factors associated with the development of pulmonary fibrosis are:

  • age
  • the tobacco
  • taking certain medications
  • The presence of the disease in the family circle.

How to treat pulmonary fibrosis?

There is currently no treatment to completely eliminate and cure the disease. However, some drugs exist and can reduce the symptoms and limit their severity.

These treatments include:

  • medicines to alleviate pain associated with perforation of cells
  • the use of oxygen masks
  • respiratory rehabilitation exercises
  • a lung transplant

Smoking cessation is, of course, the first step in reducing symptoms and illness.

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