What Are Pulmonary Fibrosis?

856 Words Oct 18th, 2015 4 Pages
What is pulmonary fibrosis?
Pulmonary fibrosis is a lung disease that occurs when the tissue deep in your lungs become thick and stiff. Over time, the damaged tissue forms scar tissue. The term for the scar tissue is fibrosis. When the scarred tissue becomes too thick, breathing becomes difficult and symptoms arise.

1. Causes of pulmonary fibrosis
Surprisingly, there are several risk factors that might trigger pulmonary fibrosis.
Chronic inflammation and infections
Cigarette smoking
Environmental toxins
GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
Viral infections (such as Epstein-Barr, hepatitis C, HIV)

Chronic inflammation and infections has been shown to be a contributing factor to developing pulmonary fibrosis. Smoking decreases the function of the lungs. Environmental toxins, such as asbestos has been shown to be one of the causes for this disease. Exposure to wood or metal dust have also been suggested as a cause.

People with GERD may be at a higher risk for pulmonary fibrosis. With GERD, the acid that is brought up into the esophagus may be breathed in, or aspirated, and over time may damage the lungs.

Genetics can also be a risk factor. If you have a genetic predisposition for the disease and then add any of the other risk factors, the likelihood of developing pulmonary fibrosis is increased.

Viral infections such as Epstein-Barr are also being studied and may show a link to developing pulmonary fibrosis.

It is sometimes hard to associate this…
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