What Are Pulmonary Fibrosis?

856 Words4 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) Genetics 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…show more content…
3. Tests There are several tests used to diagnose pulmonary fibrosis. Usually more than one method is used. Throughout the course of the disease these tests will be performed periodically to monitor the progression of the disease. Chest x-ray HRCT (high-resolution computed tomography) Lung function tests Pulse oximetry Chest x-rays can indicate shadows on the lungs that indicate scar tissue. It is usually one of the first diagnostic tests performed. Occasionally a person has a normal chest x-ray even though they have pulmonary fibrosis. An HRCT scan gives a sharper image of lungs and can detect damaged and scarred tissue. Lung function tests are breathing tests that measures the amount of air that you are able to blow out after taking a deep breath. This test also measures how fast you can breathe air out of your lungs. The pulse oximetry test uses a sensor that is attached to your finger or ear. There is a light in the sensor that indicates your blood oxygen. For a more accurate reading of oxygen in your blood, an arterial blood gas test may be ordered. This test requires a sample of blood from an artery, and is usually taken from the wrist. By testing this blood sample, the oxygen and carbon dioxide can be accurately measured. 4. Tissue samples Your doctor may recommend a bronchoscopy, bronchial lavage, or
Open Document