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Pulmonary fibrosis is chronic and slowly progressive disease.
Unluckily the disease is often misdiagnosed or diagnosis delayed.
Diagnosis of Pulmonary fibrosis can be made based on a CT scan of the chest and Pulmonary function test, both these tests are non invasive and can be done on out patient basis.
Pulmonary fibrosis causes the lungs to get scarred and over the time the scarring becomes more widespread and thicker causing the lungs to lose their ability to transfer oxygen effectively.
As a result of these changes the patient start experiencing shortness of breath and fall oxygen saturation. Gradually as the disease progresses the exertion capacity of the patient decreases and they find even doing daily activities difficult.
There are medications available for pulmonary fibrosis but none of them have shown to reverse the fibrosis or halt the procedure completely.
Lung transplantation is the only definitive treatment for pulmonary fibrosis.
However, all is not lost for patients with pulmonary fibrosis and they can lead a fairly active life with some simple measures thus delaying the need for transplantation.
Patients with pulmonary fibrosis should enrol themselves into a pulmonary rehabilitation program and exercise daily for at least 1 hour a day. These exercises help to improve the physical condition and quality of life.
Patients with pulmonary fibrosis should take care of nutrition and have good balanced diet with good protein intake.
Once the lung functions become low enough the patients can be listed for a lung transplant and undergo a lung transplant.
MBBS, MS (Gen. Surgery), MCh (Cardiac Surgery)
Program Director & Chair,
Institute of Heart-Lung Transplant, KIMS Hospitals, Sec-bad