12 Facts About Pulmonary Fibrosis Prognosis and Life Expectancy

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Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a chronic and progressive lung disease where the air sac in the lungs (alveoli) becomes scarred and stiff making it difficult to breathe and get enough oxygen into the bloodstream. There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to PF prognosis and life expectancy, so we’ve put together a list of important facts to know with help from Pulmonary Fibrosis MD, the Lung Institute, and healthline.com.

MORE: Four breathing mistakes you’re probably making

  • The overall prognosis of someone with pulmonary fibrosis will differ from person to person depending on their age, overall health, lifestyle choices and the severity of the disease when diagnosed.
  • There are four different stages of pulmonary fibrosis: mild, moderate, severe and very severe.
  • Pulmonary fibrosis patients are advised to undergo pulmonary rehabilitation where they will learn all about the disease, the treatments available, breathing techniques and be placed on an exercise program.
  • As the condition progresses, a person with pulmonary fibrosis is at risk of other health complications including heart attack or failure, stroke, pulmonary embolism, and other lung diseases and infections.
  • There is currently no cure for pulmonary fibrosis but treatments and therapies are improving all the time.
  • The average life expectancy of someone with pulmonary fibrosis is three to five years but if it’s caught early, treatment can help slow down the progression of the disease.
  • Pulmonary fibrosis patients will lose an average of between 150ml and 200ml of lung capacity each year as the disease progresses.
  • Lifestyle choices such as quitting smoking, eating well, maintaining a healthy weight and mild exercise can help with the symptoms of the disease, improving quality of life and extending life expectancy.
  • Prognosis will be worse for patients who also suffer from COPD or pulmonary hypertension.
  • The older a person is, the worse their prognosis generally is. Women usually have a better prognosis than men.
  • There are two medications used to treat pulmonary fibrosis that have been shown to reduce exacerbations and slow down the progression of the disease; Ofev and Esbriet can be used in mild to moderate cases of pulmonary fibrosis.
  • Some PF patients may be eligible for a lung transplant.  This will depend on their age, their overall health, and lifestyle choices.

MORE: Things to keep in mind when considering a lung transplant

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.-

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