Understanding Asthma & Pulmonary Fibrosis
This coming Thursday, June 10th, I will be publishing a column on trying to better understand the relationship between asthma and pulmonary fibrosis. As most of you likely know; both are conditions affecting the lungs, but how they behave are very different. I’ve heard both sides of the story in terms of asthma and IPF: that they rarely co-exist together in a patient OR that they regularly do. What have you heard?
I ask following a conversation with my doctor recently after I saw him for what-I-worried was an exacerbation of my IPF. Thankfully, a course of Prednisone and some inhaled steroids have helped and I am starting to feel better. After two other inhalers didn’t help me feel any better initially, my doctor gave me ventolin. I questioned him on this because I’ve never been told I have asthma and thought only asthmatics were prescribed ventolin. Turns out I was wrong on both accounts: 1) ventolin can be used to relieve symptoms for lung disease patients under the direction of a Pulmonologist and 2) I do have asthma.
I was shocked to learn the latter of course, but it doesn’t sound like I’ve always had asthma. Due to the pollen and other environmental allergies seemingly present this year, my doctor mentioned he has been diagnosing a lot of patients with asthma, including those who already have pre-existing lung conditions.
Have any of you also been diagnosed with asthma and IPF?
If so, what types of asthmatic triggers exist for you?
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