Pulmonary fibrosis is a lung disease which occurs when lung tissue becomes damaged and scarred. The thickened stiff tissue makes it more difficult for the lungs to work properly and as it worsens, it results in increasing shortness of breath.
There are many causes for pulmonary fibrosis, including long-term exposure to toxins and pollutants, radiation therapy, certain medical conditions and some medications. However, often the cause remains unknown.
While the lung damage caused by fibrosis cannot be repaired, medicines and therapies can sometimes help ease symptoms and improve quality of life. For some patients, a lung transplant is appropriate.
CT scanning is the most sensitive means of detecting pulmonary fibrosis at an early stage.