Pulmonary Fibrosis

Pulmonology Group LLC

Pulmonology, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine Specialists located in Las Vegas Area, Henderson, NV & Bullhead City, AZ

Pulmonary fibrosis causes irreversible scarring and damage to lung tissues, which in turn causes worsening lung dysfunction. At Pulmonology Group LLC Lung Specialist, Vikas Sayal, MD, FCCP, performs diagnostic testing in the office and offers today’s latest medications to slow down disease progression. If you have questions about lung symptoms or pulmonary fibrosis, call the office in Henderson, Nevada, or book an appointment online.

Pulmonary Fibrosis Q & A

What is pulmonary fibrosis?

Pulmonary fibrosis occurs when tissues in your lungs become scarred. Over time, the scarred tissues begin to thicken and stiffen, which means your lungs can’t work properly. As a result, your blood doesn’t get enough oxygen, and tissues throughout your body, including your brain and heart, are deprived of oxygen.

What symptoms might I develop with pulmonary fibrosis?

In some patients, symptoms develop slowly over time, while others find that their symptoms worsen quickly.

When you experience pulmonary fibrosis symptoms, you’ll have one or more of the following:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry cough
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Unplanned weight loss
  • Aching joints and muscles

About half of all patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis develop clubbing, which occurs when flesh under their fingernails thickens, causing the nails to curve downward.

What causes pulmonary fibrosis?

In most cases of pulmonary fibrosis, the cause can’t be determined. When that happens, your condition is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Although the cause may not be identified, several factors are known to increase your risk of pulmonary fibrosis, such as:

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Environmental toxins
  • Radiation treatment
  • Viral or bacterial lung infections
  • Exposure to asbestos fibers
  • Certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs
  • Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Exposure to silica dust, hard metal dust, grain dust, or coal dust

You may also have a genetic predisposition for pulmonary fibrosis because the disease tends to run in families.

How is pulmonary fibrosis treated?

After reviewing your medical history and potential exposure to toxins, dust, or asbestos, Dr. Sayal may order lung X-rays and perform pulmonary function testing. Pulmonary tests are done in the office, so he can quickly assess many aspects of your lung’s health, such as the amount of air you can inhale and exhale, and how well oxygen gets into your blood.

Although existing lung scarring can’t be treated, Dr. Sayal may prescribe OFEV® or Esbriet®, which are two innovative medications that help slow the progression of pulmonary fibrosis.

Oxygen therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation are two other treatments that can improve your symptoms. Oxygen therapy boosts blood levels of oxygen, while pulmonary rehabilitation uses supervised exercise to increase your stamina and reduce breathlessness.

At the first sign of symptoms like shortness of breath and coughing, call Pulmonology Group LLC Lung Specialist or book an appointment online.