5 Ways Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Impacts Daily Life

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by Wendy Henderson |

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Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive chronic lung condition which affects people both emotionally and physically. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held a patient-focus drug development initiative where people living with IPF could talk freely about the effect the disease has on their everyday lives.

Here’s what they said:

Work and Home Life
Many IPF patients talked about how their decreased physical function affected their everyday life. Many were unable to do the simplest of chores without needing to rest afterward. Cleaning the house, walking up stairs, showering and even getting dressed presented problems and lead to depression for some patients.

Work and Careers
Patients are often forced to take early retirement due to the shortness of breath and fatigue associated with IPF, which can impact them both emotionally and financially.

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People living with IPF are often forced to give up some of the things they enjoy doing as they no longer have the energy to continue with hobbies outside of the house.

IPF patients can often be afraid to go out in public in case they have a coughing fit. Many felt that they were viewed as “contagious” and people wouldn’t come near them. Coughing was cited by many as the most embarrassing part of the disease and they would often try to muffle their coughs.

IPF can be a lonely disease with many patients reporting the condition had impacted their relationships with family and friends. Socializing was problematic for many due to the physical restraints of IPF and others complained that they were not able to be active with their grandchildren.

Others were frustrated that because IPF is an invisible disease, people often don’t understand how ill they are.

MORE: Six ways to help you take care of your lungs

Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.