Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition of the lungs in which scarring of lung tissue occurs along with its stiffening. Due to this, the gaseous exchange is affected, which eventually affects breathing.
There is no such treatment for pulmonary fibrosis as tissue, once damaged, can not be reversed. However, the healthcare providers prescribe symptomatic treatment. In some cases, a lung transplant can also be done.
Pulmonary fibrosis can occur due to various reasons, but most doctors can not rule out the cause. When healthcare providers can not rule out the cause for pulmonary fibrosis, it is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. If anyone in your family has pulmonary fibrosis, take them to the best pulmonologist in Lahore.
What are the Symptoms of Pulmonary Fibrosis?
Shortness of breath or dyspnea
Unintentional weight loss
Clubbing of fingers- rounding and widening of fingers or toes
Symptoms and progression of pulmonary fibrosis vary from person to person. In some people, health deteriorates quickly, while in some, it may take time.
What are the Causes of Pulmonary Fibrosis?
Pulmonary fibrosis can occur due to certain medicines, medical conditions, radiation therapy, and exposure to certain chemicals.
They cause scarring and damage to the tissue, due to which efficient oxygen exchange can not take place. In some people, it may cause acute exacerbation that shows up as severe breathlessness.
During these circumstances, the patient needs to be put on a mechanical ventilator.
Toxins and pollutants that can cause pulmonary fibrosis are;
Bird and animal droppings
Hard metal dust
Radiation therapy given for lung or breast cancer can also cause pulmonary fibrosis. The severity of lung damage may depend upon;
The area of lung exposed to radiation
The amount of radiation administered
Presence of any underlying lung disease
If chemotherapy was used with radiation therapy
Certain medicines can cause pulmonary fibrosis by damaging your lungs. It can include drugs, such as;
Chemotherapeutic drugs- they are the drugs used to treat cancer. It includes drugs such as cyclophosphamide and methotrexate.
Cardiac medications- drugs used to treat arrhythmias, such as amiodarone can cause pulmonary fibrosis by damaging the lung tissue.
Antibiotics- not all antibiotics cause damage to the lungs. But some like nitrofurantoin or ethambutol do that.
Antiinflammatory- drugs used to lower inflammation, such as rituximab or sulfasalazine can cause lung damage.
Certain medical conditions can cause lung damage, eventually causing pulmonary fibrosis. It can occur due to health conditions such as;
Mixed connective tissue disease
Systemic lupus erythematosus
What are the Complications of Pulmonary Fibrosis?
Pulmonary fibrosis impairs oxygen exchange. Therefore, it can lead to various complications such as;
Pulmonary hypertension- elevated blood pressure in the pulmonary artery. It is different from systemic blood pressure.
Corpulmonale- also known as right-sided heart failure, is a condition when the right ventricle or the lower chamber of the heart has to pump harder to push the blood. It happens because the pulmonary arteries get partially blocked.
Respiratory failure- is a condition when your oxygen levels fall dangerously low. It is often the last stage of chronic lung disease.
Lung cancer- pulmonary fibrosis, when becomes chronic, can lead to lung cancer.
Lung infections- long-standing pulmonary fibrosis can lead to infections of the lung.
Collapsed lung- pulmonary fibrosis, when progress can lead to blood clots in the lungs, leading to a collapsed lung.
Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition in which damage to the lung tissue occurs, which leads to impaired breathing. There is no such treatment for it.
Healthcare providers treat it symptomatically. If you have a complaint of breathlessness, you can visit the pulmonologist in Islamabad.
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