Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a chronic lung condition where scarred tissue makes the lungs unable to deliver oxygen to the blood stream effectively. The more scarred the lung tissue is, the more severe the condition will be.
The scarring of lung tissue cannot be reversed and at the moment there is no known cure for pulmonary fibrosis. One of the few options available to patients is a lung transplant. However, there is research being conducted into treatments which could help to slow down the progression of the disease and prevent further scarring of the lung tissue.
Currently, there are medications available which do help some patients by suppressing the immune system which can slow down the process of fibrosis. Corticosteroids are often prescribed but long-term use of these can have serious side effects. Suppressing a person’s immune system will make them susceptible to viruses and other illnesses which could be fatal for someone with a chronic lung disease.
Pulmonary rehabilitation is offered to patients with pulmonary fibrosis which can help to slow down the decline of lung function and give people a better quality of life. Oxygen therapy is often used in conjunction with pulmonary rehabilitation.
Patients with PF are advised to quit smoking, maintain a healthy body weight, eat sensibly and exercise as much as they can as well as avoiding people who are ill. Source: breathingmatters.co.uk
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