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Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis – Everything You Need to Know

What Is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis?

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive lung disease. It happens when the lung tissue around the air sacs becomes stiff and thicker, which leads to permanent scarring in the lungs. The condition is characterized by a persistent cough and shortness of breath. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic condition that worsens over time. There is currently no cure, but a good treatment plan may help you manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life. In the next sections, we’ll show you more important information about this condition. [1]

Causes and Risk Factors for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis occurs when the tiny air sacs, also known as alveoli, in your lungs are damaged and scarred. This leads to increasing stiffness, making it harder to breathe and transport oxygen to the blood. The exact cause is still unknown. In fact, idiopathic literally means unknown causes. However, scientists have found a link between this progressive disease and certain factors. These include:

– Viral infections

– Exposure to wood or metal dust

– Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease

– Smoking

– A family history of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

However, it is not fully clear whether any of these factors may directly cause idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. While genetics may play a role, it is rare for this disease to affect more than one person in the same family. [2]