Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis: 5 Symptoms, Causes, and Risk Factors

By | February 13, 2020
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Any person of any age can experience symptoms of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, the higher the age, the higher the ratio of suffering from the disease. What’s more, this case is more often afflicted by men over the age of 50 years, and most have a history of smo**king.

The pulmonary lungs are the main organs of the respiratory system, the organ is located in the ribs in the chest cavity. The main function of this organ is respiration, namely inhaling oxygen and removing carbon dioxide. The lungs also tend to suffer from certain infections and various disorders due to exposure to toxins, chemicals, and the air pollution that is inhaled when we breathe.

Read also: Lung Infection Treatment, Definition, Types, and Symptoms

One of the most common respiratory disorders is idiopathic pulmonary Fibrosis. You do not want to not be in the age of 50 years, you have used additional oxygen from the outside to do the activity?

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (Cryptogenic fibrosing alveolitis) is the most common form of idiopathic interstitial pneumonia, in accordance with progressive and dominant pulmonary fibrosis in male smo**kers. The symptoms of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis develop over several months to several years and include shortness of breath while exercising, and coughing.

Diagnosis is made when analyzing the history, physical examinations, chest radiography, and lung function test and confirmed by the results of HRCT, pulmonary biopsy or, if necessary, both methods. No special treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis proved effective, but glucocorticoids, cyclophosphamide, azathioprine or its combination is often prescribed. In most patients, setbacks occur even with the background of treatment; Average survival-less than 3 years since the date of the diagnosis.

How common is idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis?

This is rare. Less than 3 out of 10,000 people develop this disease. However, it seems increasingly common. It can affect anyone at any age, but most often develops between the ages of 50 and 70 years. It seems to be more common in men than in women.

What are the symptoms of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis?

Symptoms tend to evolve gradually:

  • Breathlessness (shortness of breath) that gradually becomes worse is the main symptom. This is due to the reduced amount of oxygen that enters the bloodstream. Shortness of breath during activity can be noticed at first. This may be missed as “just getting older” for a while until the shortness of breath gets worse.
  • A dry cough often occurs (cough with little or no sputum).
  • Finger or toe nails occur about half the cases. Clubbing is a painless swelling in the base of the nail. The cause of clubbing is unclear. It happens to people with various chest and heart diseases.
  • Fatigue.
  • Increased risk of chest infections.

As the condition goes, the symptoms can sometimes get worse (called acute exacerbation). The worse symptom period can be followed by periods in which there seems to be some improvement. 

If the condition becomes severe then heart failure can occur. This is due to decreased levels of oxygen in the blood and changes in the lung tissue, which can lead to increased pressure on blood vessels in the lungs. This increased pressure can make tension on the heart muscle, which causes heart failure. Heart failure can cause a variety of symptoms, including worsening of breath and fluid retention.

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The cause of pulmonary fibrosis is the occurrence of inflammation and accumulation of lung tissue in alveoli organ, in the case of idiopathic pulmonary Fibrosis The cause is not known but the exposure of microorganisms and smo**king can cause idiopathic pulmonary Fibrosis.

Risk factors for pulmonary fibrosis


Although pulmonary fibrosis has been diagnosed in children and infants, this disorder is much more likely to affect older people, middle-aged, and elderly people.


Smo**kers and former smo**kers are much more likely to develop pulmonary fibrosis than people who have never smo**ked.


You have an increased risk of pulmonary fibrosis if you are working in the field of mining, farming, construction, or if you are often exposed to pollutants that can damage your lungs.

Cancer treatment.

Radiation treatment to the chest or the use of certain chemotherapy drugs makes you susceptible to pulmonary fibrosis.

Genetic factors.

Some types of pulmonary fibrosis appear to be inherited in the family, so genetic component is thought to have an influence.

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