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. This is why pulmonary fibrosis is sometimes referred to as “interstitial lung disease”.
As the scar tissue replaces healthy lung cells, the lungs become stiff and do not expand easily. This slowly reduces a person’s ability to absorb oxygen, making breathing more and more difficult as the disease progresses.
It can be difficult to predict how pulmonary fibrosis will progress over time in an individual. It can be stable for a long time or it can become severe quickly.