Pulmonary fibrosis refers to scarring of the lungs. It’s a chronic degenerative disease which leads to shortness of breath and fatigue.
To help you explain the disease to others, we’ve put together a brief guide using information from the Pulmonary Fibrosis Trust.
What is pulmonary fibrosis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis?
Pulmonary fibrosis is an interstitial lung disease that worsens over time. There are many reasons why a person may develop the disease including smoking, the inhalation of non-organic dust, connective tissue diseases such as scleroderma and a family history of the disease. If there is no found cause for a patient’s pulmonary fibrosis, it’s referred to as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
Scarring occurs in the air sacs called alveoli which are situated at the end of the branches of tubes in the lungs. When these are scarred, they are unable to inflate and deflate properly making it increasingly difficult for oxygen to reach the blood.