Pulmonary Fibrosis - Symptoms

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What are the causes and symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis?

Symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis include:

  • shortness of breath,
  • coughing, and
  • diminished exercise tolerance.

Symptoms vary depending on the cause of the pulmonary fibrosis. The severity of symptoms and the progression (worsening) of symptoms over time can vary.

The most common form, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, has slow and relentless progression. Early on, patients often complain of a dry, unexplained cough. Often, slow and insidious onset of shortness of breath can set in. With time, dyspnea (shortness of breath) worsens. Dyspnea initially occurs only with activity and is often attributed to aging. Over time, the dyspnea occurs with little or no activity. Eventually, the shortness of breath becomes disabling, limiting all activity and even occurring while sitting still. In rarer cases, the fibrosis can be rapidly progressive, with dyspnea and disability occurring in weeks to months from the onset of the disease. This form of pulmonary fibrosis has been referred to as Hamman-Rich syndrome.

Return to Pulmonary Fibrosis

See what others are saying

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 29

I was hospitalized for a week 3 years ago with what they told me was COPD. It came on suddenly and by the time I arrived at the hospital I was barly able to breathe. They really didn't look any further into it and sent me home with inhalers ect.. Had several lung/broncular infections throughout the years and still didn't think much of it. In 2013 developed a cough and was having an awful time breathing. Went for a cat scan (after X-rays found scarring) a day later.

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Comment from: shirlmes, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I now have serious pulmonary fibrosis. My knees, ankles and back are just giving me so much pain.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

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