Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Explained: All You Need To Know

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis can cause serious breathing issues, here are symptoms, causes and treatment for this lung disease.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalPublished at: Apr 11, 2022Updated at: Apr 11, 2022
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Explained: All You Need To Know

Lung diseases can range from mild to severe, area of infection can increase. Lung conditions of different kind can make you ill at a very fast rate. Some of the lung infections spread through mere contact whereas some of them are quite rare and need to have expert medical care for those diseases. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is one such rare lung condition that might cause life-threatening complications if not treated at time. Idiopathic means unknown, hence it means that the reason of having this condition is quite unknown. Each case of IPF can differ, therefore to understand further, we need to know about this lung condition in detail. 

What is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis?

This is a rare lung condition that causes tissue in your lungs to become stiff. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis can make it hard for you to breathe naturally. We spoke to Dr. Rakesh Sinha, Head of Pulmonology Department at Vozart Healthcare Hospital, Pune to know about this lung condition. Patient of this disease might have to be put at oxygen cylinder very early, it can be very difficult for person to breathe naturally, thus this condition is serious. Many few people actually get this lung infection but those who do cannot be identified easily. You might even have this disease because of environmental factors, infections or therapies.  


Causes of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis 

The exact cause of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is not known until now. However, doctors assume that it could be caused because of different factors. Diagnosing pulmonary fibrosis. They came to the conclusion that there are several potential causes including these- 

  • Environmental exposure, such as pollution and toxins 
  • Types of infections  
  • Medications 
  • Radiation therapy 
  • Other diseases

In majority of pulmonary fibrosis cases, doctors are not able to recognize and diagnose exact cause of concern. When the doctors aren't able to find specific cause, then it causes idiopathic fibrosis. Factors may also play some role in development of pulmonary fibrosis and IPF.

Also Read- Pulmonary Embolism: Know Symptoms, Causes And Risk Factors

Symptoms of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis 

This lung disease causes scarring and stiffness in your lungs. Over the period of time, scarring will become senior and stiffness will make it hard for you to breathe. Some of the common symptoms of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis include- 

  • Weakness 
  • Weight loss 
  • Chronic cough 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Fatigue 
  • Chest discomfort 


In most of the conditions, the lung of the patient is not able to take enough oxygen supply into the body. This ultimately leads to respiratory failure, heart failure, or other kind of health concerns. It is important to note that idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis progresses slowly and the treatments are still available. 

Treatment for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis  

There are different types of treatment options that are available for treating idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Treatments available for pulmonary fibrosis can actually reduce the symptoms and manage the disease well. 

The main goal of treatment is to reduce the lung inflammation and protect the lung tissues from further loss of function. It allows them to breathe more easily and appropriately. The most common treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is oxygen therapy and medications given along with it. Oxygen therapy actually allows to control inflammation caused in the lungs and reduces lung tissue scarring which is its primary symptom. 

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Another way to treat the lung in this condition, or you may also call it the final way is lung transplant. Lung transplant can be little dangerous but it might be very helpful, especially for patients that have got this disease in the younger age. Lung transplant is recommended to patients lower than 45 years of age according to our expert.

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