Pulmonary Fibrosis - Experience

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If known, what was the cause of your pulmonary fibrosis? Please share your experience.

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What is pulmonary fibrosis?

"Fibrosis" is a term used to refer to scarring, so pulmonary fibrosis means scarring throughout the lungs. Pulmonary fibrosis can be caused by many conditions including chronic inflammatory processes (sarcoidosis, Wegener's granulomatosis), infections, environmental agents (asbestos, silica, exposure to certain gases), exposure to ionizing radiation (such as radiation therapy to treat tumors of the chest), chronic conditions (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis), and certain medications.

In a condition known as hypersensitivity pneumonitis, fibrosis of the lung can develop following a heightened immune reaction to inhaled organic dusts or occupational chemicals. This condition most often results from inhaling dust contaminated with bacterial, fungal, or animal products.

In some people, chronic pulmonary inflammation and fibrosis develop without an identifiable cause. Most of these people have a condition called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) that does not respond to medical therapy, while some of the other types of fibrosis, such as nonspecific interstitial pneumonitis (NSIP), may respond to immune suppressive therapy.

Synonyms (other names) for various types of pulmonary fibrosis that have been used in the past include chronic interstitial pneumonitis, Hamman-Rich syndrome, and diffuse fibrosing alveolitis.

Return to Pulmonary Fibrosis

See what others are saying

Comment from: I_care_for_my_Mom, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: January 31

My mom was diagnosed on January 28, 1986 (same day as the Challenger tragedy) with pulmonary fibrosis. She was 54 years of age. Mom never smoked, drank, worked in factories or the like, being a stay at home mom. She was put on oxygen 24/7 which helped. Several years later, she just "got better"! She no longer needed any oxygen, went to work full time and was a picture of health! When diagnosed, the medical field deducted it was due to our bird business (we raised, trained, sold pet birds). Once diagnosed, we no longer kept any of the birds, even our house pets. Unfortunately, almost 6 years ago, my mom was given a pair of her favorite canaries that she adored! When the dry cough started again, we took her to the doctor and our worst fear was confirmed. She indeed had this disease rear its ugly head again.

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Comment from: jayne, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 18

I have sarcoidosis which the doctor says is the cause of my pulmonary fibrosis. I am on oxygen and very short of breath. I have never had a cigarette but lived with a smoker for 25 years. I am a registered nurse and worked in the ICU for 25 years. Of interest is my husband also had sarcoidosis which never gave him a problem. Being short of breath is not fun. So far I have no edema. I am on prednisone and ASA (acetylsalicylic acid).

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