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Meet Joyce

Joyce Bell was in great shape for a woman of 68. Or so she thought. That illusion was shattered when her bicycle rides got cut short by breathlessness. A routine chest x-ray showed scar ti

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) causes scar tissue (fibrosis) to form in the lungs, making them thick and hard. Because the lungs become stiff and cannot take in enough oxygen, people with IPF find themselves out of breath just doing simple tasks like walking or hanging up laundry. The Lung Association is committed to supporting those affected by this devastating disease that sadly has no cure. Here you can find the ‘need to know’ info on IPF including causes, symptoms, and medication.

Facts and FAQs

IDIOPATHIC PULMONARY FIBROSIS, or IPF for short, is a rare and progressive lung disease that causes scarring of the alveoli and interstitial tissues (located between alveoli and blood vessels) of the lungs.



IF THERE IS A KNOWN CAUSE of pulmonary fibrosis exists, removal from the environment or occupation can be effective. Some jobs involve inhaling small particles that can damage the alveoli and cause fibrosis.


Symptoms and diagnosis

BREATHLESSNESS AND CHRONIC COUGH are the most common symptoms of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Breathlessness is usually worse when performing activities


Risks and complications

IT IS HARD TO PREDICT the progression of the disease because it can be very different from one person to another. For some, the course of the disease can be relatively stable.


Treatment and medication

WHEN THERE IS A KNOWN environmental cause of the pulmonary fibrosis, removal of the patient from the environment or occupation causing the disease is the first priority.


Management and support

ALTHOUGH THERE IS NO CURE for IPF, there are many ways to help you manage it. Staying as active as possible is important for people with pulmonary fibrosis.