Once scar tissue has formed, it can't be reversed or removed, so treatment is aimed at slowing the progression of the disease and improving symptoms.
Unfortunately, the treatments we have are limited. For many people with pulmonary fibrosis, the only treatments are for symptomatic relief, such as oxygen therapy. Relatively young and healthy people with pulmonary fibrosis may be candidates for a lung transplant.
In pulmonary fibrosis caused by some other disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, treating the underlying disease is the best approach and usually reduces lung inflammation.
In idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, medications that suppress the immune system may prevent new scarring, but most of these medications have not been found to be very effective. The corticosteroid prednisone* is the treatment most often given. Other immune suppressants like cyclophosphamide are also sometimes tried. Pulmonary rehabilitation is a standard part of treatment for people with pulmonary fibrosis. This can involve an exercise program, breathing exercises, and stress management.
Exercise can improve the body's ability to provide oxygen to the tissues, and maximize the efficiency of healthy lung tissue. People with advanced pulmonary fibrosis may need oxygen equipment in order to maintain an adequate supply of oxygen in their circulation.
People with pulmonary fibrosis should quit smoking.
It's difficult to prevent a disease when you don't know what causes it, so there's no generally accepted preventive advice for pulmonary fibrosis. However, people who have jobs that increase their risk of developing pulmonary fibrosis (e.g., farmers who work with hay, miners, welders, sandblasters, demolition workers) should do what they can to minimize exposure (e.g., wearing masks).
*All medications have both common (generic) and brand names. The brand name is what a specific manufacturer calls the product (e.g., Tylenol®). The common name is the medical name for the medication (e.g., acetaminophen). A medication may have many brand names, but only one common name. This article lists medications by their common names. For information on a given medication, check our Drug Information database. For more information on brand names, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Pulmonary-Fibrosis