Pulmonary Fibrosis: 7 Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

By | January 26, 2020
Pulmonary Fibrosis Treatment

Pulmonary Fibrosis is a respiratory disorder due to the formation of scar tissue in the lung organs. This condition will cause the lungs to not function normally.

This abnormal lung function will cause a person to experience shortness of breath, even when doing only mild activities, such as walking or wearing clothes.

Pulmonary Fibrosis is a lung disease that deteriorates slowly and is not contagious. This condition can be caused by a variety of factors and can be experienced by anyone, but is more common in older people and the elderly.

Causes of pulmonary Fibrosis

Pulmonary Fibrosis can injure and thicken the tissues around and between the airbags (alveoli) of the lung. This condition makes oxygen harder to get into the bloodstream. In most cases, the cause of pulmonary fibrosis is unknown. However, there are various factors that affect the occurrence of pulmonary fibrosis.

Pulmonary Fibrosis is caused by scar tissue formed in the lungs. There are several factors that can trigger the formation of the scar tissue, among them:

Autoimmune diseases

Autoimmune diseases can cause the body’s immune system to attack itself. Autoimmune conditions that may cause pulmonary fibrosis include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lupus erythematosus
  • Scleroderma
  • Polymyositis
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Vasculitis.


  • Bacteria
  • Viruses such as hepatitis C, adenovirus, and herpes virus

Environmental exposure

Your environment or workplace can also cause pulmonary fibrosis. For example, exposure to ciga**rette smoke containing many chemicals may damage the lungs and may trigger the disease. Additionally exposed to some of these exposure can also damage the lungs such as:

  • Asbestos fibers
  • Grain dust
  • Silica dust
  • Specific gases
  • Radiation

Certain medications

Some medications may increase the risk of developing pulmonary fibrosis. When using any of these medicines on a regular basis, then you need strict monitoring by your doctor. Examples of these medicines are:

  • Chemotherapy drugs, such as cyclophosphamide
  • Antibiotics, such as nitrofurantoin and sulfasalazine
  • Cardiac drugs, such as amiodarone
  • Biological drugs such as adalimumab or etanercept

Other causes

  • Certain medications.
  • Radiotherapy.
  • Idiopathic (unknown cause).

In addition to some of the above causes, there are also factors that can increase the risk of lung fibrosis, namely:

  • Age and gender.
  • Smo**king habit.
  • Heredity.

Read also: Water in lungs: The causes, symptoms, How to prevent and Treat it

Symptoms of pulmonary Fibrosis

Below are the symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis that need to be wary of:

  • The short breath to the people with having difficulty breathing well (dyspnea), even when doing a relatively mild activity, such as dressing. Not few people consider this symptom as a result of age or lack of exercise.
  • Fatigue.
  • Limp.
  • Dry cough.
  • Muscle and joint pain.
  • Reduced weight without clear cause.
  • Toes and hands swell.

The progression of pulmonary fibrosis and its severity varies by person. Some of the conditions are severe immediate, some of which are the diseases are gnawing slowly in a few months to years.

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Lung Fibrosis treatment and management

Unfortunately, the lungs damaged by this disease cannot be repaired. Nevertheless, treatment is still needed to reduce the perceived symptoms. In pulmonary fibrosis, the symptoms and severity of the occurrence can differ from one person to another. In one person, symptoms can appear quickly and severely, whereas in other fibrosis sufferers may be otherwise.

Undergoing treatment and care for the disease aims to prevent lung damage from occurring. In addition, administering the drug also aims to reduce the symptoms that arise. What are the treatments that can be done to overcome pulmonary fibrosis disease?

Pulmonary Fibrosis Treatment
  • Drug consumption.
  • Oxygen Therapy.
  • Lung Rehabilitation.
  • Lung Transplantation.

Certain patients may experience symptoms that continue to grow worse, such as difficulty breathing for several days or weeks. In this case, the patient may be paired with a ventilator machine to support breathing. The doctor may also prescribe antibiotic medications, corticosteroids, and other medications to cope with this condition.

Read also: Lung Cancer: 13 Causes – Risk Factors, and Treatment

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