Pulmonary fibrosis is a lung disease that occurs when the tissue of lung becomes scarred and damaged. This makes the lung tissue stiff, scarred and thick. The term 'fibrosis' means scarring, so pulmonary fibrosis is the scarring of the lungs. This thick and stiff tissue of the lungs makes it harder for your lungs to work properly and interferes with one's ability to breathe. The month of September is known as the Pulmonary Fibrosis month.
The air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs are surrounded by a tissue, which makes the oxygen to pass into your blood stream. In pulmonary fibrosis this tissue is thickened and scarred and makes it difficult for the oxygen to pass into the bloodstream. The cause of pulmonary fibrosis can be the air-born toxins, some types of medical treatments and certain lung diseases. Sometimes a long time exposure to toxins like asbestos fibers, silica dust, grain dust and bird or animal droppings can also be the cause of pulmonary fibrosis.
The severity of the symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis varies from person to person, depending on the cause of pulmonary fibrosis. The symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis are shortness of breath, fatigue, coughing, weight loss and aching muscles and joints.
Currently, there is no treatment of pulmonary fibrosis available and the scarring on the lungs cannot be reversed. So a person suffering from the disease is only administered medicines to treat symptoms or slowing down the progress of the disease. And the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis includes medication, oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation and surgery.
The initial medication for pulmonary fibrosis is corticosteroid (prednisone). The corticosteroid is sometimes used in combination with other drugs like methotrexate or cyclosporine, to suppress the immune system. These combinations of drugs are not effective in the long run. The other medications for pulmonary fibrosis are derivatives of a natural amino acid (N-acetylcysteine).
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