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Picture of Human Anatomy showing the Pulmonary System (the lungs).
Picture of Human Anatomy showing the Pulmonary System (the lungs).

PULMONARY FIBROSIS

Pulmonary fibrosis is a serious, lifelong lung disease. It causes lung scarring (tissue scars and thickens over time), making it harder to breathe. Symptoms may come on quickly or take years to develop. No cure exists. Medications may slow down scarring and help preserve lung function. Oxygen therapy and staying active may relieve symptoms.

Healthcare providers typically consider pulmonary fibrosis a terminal illness. Pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive disease (that gets worse over time). There is no cure, and it eventually leads to death. Many things factor into how long and well people can live with pulmonary fibrosis. The disease may get worse quickly (over months) or very slowly (over years). Newer medications may help slow the disease progression.

Medical experts have a hard time pinpointing exactly how many people have pulmonary fibrosis. According to one study, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis affects at least 200,000 people in the U.S.

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