Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Man Suffering With Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a disease of the lower respiratory tract that leads to a decreased ability of the alveoli to transfer oxygen from the air to the blood. There is widespread inflammation and deposition of scar tissue within the lung tissue. Damage to the lung tissue occurs from a response of the immune system of unknown cause. The disease is more common in men than in women.

What are the Symptoms of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis?

Symptoms of IPF include shortness of breath on exertion that lasts for months or years and eventually is present at rest. As the disease progresses it leads to decreased tolerance for activity, cough, and chest pain.

How is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Diagnosed?

Your doctor can detect IPF by physical examination, which could show finger clubbing (abnormal enlargement of the tips of the fingers). Dry, crackling breath sounds may be heard by stethoscope examination of the chest. Other diagnostic test that could be performed to detect IDP includes chest x-ray, pulmonary function tests, blood work, high-resolution CT Scan, or lung biopsy.

How is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Treated?

There is no prevention or cure for IPF. The objective of treatment is supportive therapy. Medications such as corticosteroids and bronchodilators may be prescribed to improve breathing; and cytotoxic drugs may be prescribed to suppress the immune system. A lung transplant may be indicated for highly selected patients with end-stage pulmonary fibrosis.


Why an Early Diagnosis for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis is so Important

Diagnosis of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fribosis

Over the last several years, researched has provided doctors with more information about IPF. Due to this, getting a diagnosis can be done more quickly than in the past. There have also been advances in medicines that can improve the quality of life for those who have the disease if they are diagnosed and start treatment early.


Call Today if You Suspect You or a Loved One are at Risk for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Because early diagnosis and treatment can be so important with IPF, do not put off calling our office. This is a dangerous and life-threatening disease and you want to have to have dedicated and knowledgeable Pulmonary Specialists that can help you have the best quality of life possible. Call our office today to schedule your appointment if you think you or a loved one are at risk or have this serious disease.

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