Pulmonary fibrosis isthe medical term for a very serious disorder that affects the lungs. Theprogressive scarring of the lung tissue marks this disease, and it may becaused by several medical conditions, such as diabetes, scleroderma, rheumatoidarthritis, lupus or some fungal, parasitical, and viral infections.Furthermore, mineral or organic dust as well as poisonous industrial gases,some poisons and certain medications can be the main causes of the pulmonaryfibrosis occurrence. This disease starts with the repeated injuriesthat damage the tissue within and between the alveoli in the lungs, which hasfor the consequence pulmonary fibrosis or scarring. The lungs become rigid andstiff and breathing is very difficult in such case.
Pulmonary fibrosis hasvaries symptoms that warn a person of its presence. The most common symptomsthat usually occur are dyspnea or shortness of breath and a dry cough.Furthermore, fatigue and unexplained loss of the weight can be some of thesigns of pulmonary fibrosis. There are also cases when even the pain in thejoints and muscles appears, but all these symptoms are usually imperceptible inthe beginning, and they become more noticeable as the disease progresses.
Complications ofpulmonary fibrosis
If the person noticessome of the symptoms which are listed above, it is important to consult thephysician, who will prescribe certain medications and a proper therapy. It isadvisable to treat the pulmonary fibrosis because it can lead to some veryserious complications, such as hypoxemia, pulmonary hypertension, cor pulmonaleand respiratory failure.Hypoxemia is the name for the condition marked by the low blood-oxygen levels, which happens because pulmonary fibrosis decreases the amount of oxygen that the person takes in, thus causing problems in the body’s basic functioning. Sometimes the low levels of oxygen in the blood can be very serious and even mortal.Pulmonary hypertension is the medical term for the high blood pressure in the lungs and it affects only arteries in the lungs. This condition is also very serious and life-threatening.Cor pulmonale is the medical term for the right-sided heart failure. In this case, the heart’s lower right chamber gradually becomes weaker, because it must pump more blood through the pulmonary arteries, which are blocked.The last phase of the chronic lung disease is the respiratory failure, and in this phase, the levels of oxygen in the blood drop enormously, thus causing heart arrhythmias and even unconsciousness.