Pulmonary fibrosis is a lung disease that presents itself with scarring or thickening of the lungs. In most cases, there is not a known cause as to why this scarring or thickening takes place. When the lungs begin to stiffen it makes breathing difficult; the disease generally gets worse over time and generally affects the adult population between 50-70 years of age.
No one knows exactly what causes pulmonary fibrosis. Some experts agree that the condition is most likely the result of an inflammatory condition caused by unknown substances. Ongoing studies by medical professionals are in process to try and determine what actually causes this lung disease.
The symptoms associated with pulmonary fibrosis range in severity from chest pain and coughing to a shortness of breath and wheezing. Many individual will feel as if their chest is tightening or stiffening. Individuals who suffer from pulmonary fibrosis will often feel tired and will experience a decreased tolerance for physical activity.
Unfortunately, there is not a known cure for pulmonary fibrosis. There has not been one particular medication proven to improve the symptoms associated with this disease. Oxygen has been shown to help ease the symptoms in patients who have low blood oxygen levels. There are also some medications such as corticosteroids and cytotoxic drugs that can help to reduce the inflammation and swelling that occurs with the progression of the disease. In rare cases, people who have advanced pulmonary fibrosis may be candidates for a lung transplant.