Editorial - (2021) Volume 0, Issue 0
Pulmonary fibrosis is a lung disease which damages the tissues of lung. When the tissues of lungs are damaged then it makes quite difficultly for a person to breath. So, pulmonary fibrosis weakens the lungs and makes it worse for a person to breath.
In most of the cases of pulmonary fibrosis the treatment induced is lung transplant. This is because; pulmonary fibrosis is not a curable disease. So the lung damage caused by pulmonary fibrosis cannot be repaired. Through med- ication and therapies the quality of lung functioning will be improved but in most cases lung transplant is suggest- ed. Pulmonary fibrosis scarring is caused by multiple factors. The exact factor is unknown till date. So this kind of lung disease condition is termed idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
The symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis are shortness of breath, dry cough, fatigue, weight loss, muscles and joint aching. The course of pneumonic pathology and the severity of symptoms will vary significantly from person to person. Few patients will become sick quickly with severe damage in lung. Others have moderate symptoms that worsen slowly like it takes over months or years.
Some people might have worse symptoms like shortness of breath which last for several days and weeks. This kind of diseases is called acute exacerbation. People with acute exacerbation might be placed on mechanical ventilator and antibiotics and other medication are preferred as treatment for acute exacerbation.
Pulmonary fibrosis scars and thickens the tissue around and between the air sacs (alveoli) in your lungs. This makes it more difficult for oxygen to pass into your bloodstream. The damage can be caused by many dif- ferent factors — including long-term exposure to certain toxins, certain medical conditions, radiation therapy and some medications. Long-term exposure to a number of toxins and pollutants can damage your lungs. These include, Silica dust, Asbestos fibers, hard metal dusts, Coal dust, Grain dust, Bird and animal droppings.
Some people who receive radiation therapy for lung or breast cancer show signs of lung damage months or some times years after the initial treatment. The severity of the damage may depend on: How much of the lung was exposed to radiation, the total amount of radiation adminis- tered, whether chemotherapy also was used and the presence of underlying lung disease.
Many drugs can damage your lungs, especially medications such as:
1. Chemotherapy drugs: Drugs designed to kill cancer cells, such as methotrexate (Trexall, Otrexup, others) and cyclophosphamide, can also damage lung tissue.
2. Heart medications: Some drugs used to treat irregular heartbeats, such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Nexterone, Pacerone), may harm lung tissue.
3. Some antibiotics: Antibiotics such as nitrofurantoin (Mac- robid, Macrodantin, others) or ethambutol can cause lung damage.
4. Anti-inflammatory drugs: Certain anti-inflammatory drugs such as rituximab (Rituxan) or sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) can cause lung damage.
Lung damage can also result from a number of conditions, including: Dermatomyositis, Polymyositis, Mixed connective tissue disease, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Rheumatoid arthritis, Sarcoidosis, Scleroderma, Pneumonia.
Many substances and conditions can lead to pulmonary fibrosis. Even so, in most cases, the cause is never found. Pulmonary fibrosis with no known cause is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Researchers have several theories about what might trig- ger idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, including viruses and exposure to tobacco smoke. Also, some forms of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis run in families, and heredity may play a role in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Many people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis may also have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) — a condition that occurs when acid from your stomach flows back into your esophagus. Ongoing research is evaluating if GERD may be a risk factor for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or if GERD may lead to a more rapid progression of the condition. However, more research is needed to determine the association between idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and GERD.
I thank the African Journal of Respiratory Medicine for choosing me to write a brief report on pulmonary fibrosis.
I have no Conflict of interest.
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