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Pulmonary Fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis occurs when lung tissue becomes damaged and scarred. The thickened, scarred tissue makes it more difficult for the lungs to work properly.

Pulmonary fibrosis can be caused by:

  • Occupational/environmental exposure to asbestos, silica, metal dusts, bacteria, fumes, animal dusts, or gases
  • Occupational related disease such as asbestosis, silicosis, Farmers Lung, or Bird Breeder’s Lung
  • Lung infections like TB and others
  • Drugs may cause pulmonary fibrosis—consult your doctor about any medications that you are taking
  • Connective tissue, collagen, vascular diseases such as rheumatoid arthitis, systemic sclerosis, genetic not as common

Signs & Symptoms

Common signs and symptoms of a pulmonary fibrosis include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough without sputum which is dry, irritating, and persistent
  • Clubbed fingers
  • “Crackling” sound in the lungs
  • Hypoxemia


There are several ways for a Deborah physician to diagnose cases of pulmonary fibrosis, including:

  • Patient history
  • Physical exam including diagnostic tests such as chest x-rays, CT scan, pulmonary function tests, and blood tests
  • Bronchoalveolar lavage
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Lung biopsy