Pulmonary fibrosis is a lifelong lung disease. It causes scarring of the lungs, meaning that the lung tissue scars and thickens over time. The disease impacts the connecting tissue in the lungs and the air sacs (alveoli) inside the lungs.
What causes pulmonary fibrosis?
Some possible causes of pulmonary fibrosis are as follows:
- occupational and environmental factors (such as exposure to hard metal, coal and grain dusts, asbestos fibers, animal droppings etc.)
- radiation treatments
- some medications like chemotherapy drugs and heart medications, also some antibiotics and some anti-inflammatory drugs
- some medical conditions like sarcoidosis, pneumonia, mixed connective tissue disease etc.
Pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive disease. The stiffened and thick lung tissue affects the working of the lungs and makes it harder and harder to breathe over time. The damage that pulmonary fibrosis causes cannot be repaired or reversed, but symptoms can be eased and the quality of life of the patient can be improved with some medications.
Possible complications of pulmonary fibrosis
The disease may cause the following complications:
- pulmonary hypertension
- right-sided heart failure
- respiratory failure
- lung cancer
- lung complications
You can learn more about pulmonary fibrosis symptoms and treatment here.