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Lung fibrosis, also known as pulmonary fibrosis, is a progressive lung disease which causes scaring of the lung tissues. The scaring occurs due to excessive formation of connective tissues which is known as fibrosis. Fibrosis leads to thickening of the walls of the lungs which in turn causes reduced supply of oxygen in blood and body.
Symptoms of lung fibrosis include shortness of breath, chronic dry cough, fatigue and weakness, chest discomfort including chest pain, loss of appetite and rapid weight loss, aching of muscles and joints, and widening and rounding of the tips of fingers and toes.
Lung fibrosis is usually an effect from other diseases affecting the lungs. These include viral infections and bacterial infection like tuberculosis, COPD and occupational hazards. Tobacco smoking, radiation therapy to the chest and certain medications can also increase the risk of contracting lung fibrosis. However, lung fibrosis can also occur without any known cause, which is known as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Diagnosis can be made on the basis of history and CT scan findings and Pulmonary Function Test. Video bronchoscopy and biopsy is also used to diagnose this condition.
Lung fibrosis being a progressive condition, the treatment options are limited. Usually medications are given to slow down the progress. Lung transplantation is considered in severe cases.