It is hard to predict life expectancy with IPF because the course of the disease can be very different from one person to another. For some, the course of the disease can be relatively stable. For others, the disease may progress more quickly. Flare-ups make it worse.
What is the difference between Pulmonary Fibrosis and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis?
Certain strong medications (e.g. antibiotics, chemotherapy, heart medications)
People who smoke or former smokers may be more likely to develop pulmonary fibrosis than people who have never smoked
When there is a known cause of pulmonary fibrosis, removal of the person from the environment or occupation causing the disease is very important.
However, in the majority of cases, the cause of pulmonary fibrosis is not known and not completely understood. This is known as “Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis” or IPF. Idiopathic means “of unknown origin”. Not knowing what caused it makes the treatment more challenging.
I have IPF and have been prescribed oxygen. Does it mean I will get addicted to it?
Oxygen is not addicting. If it has been prescribed, you need to use it. Avoiding it because you believe you will become addicted or for any other reason will not help you. It is important to know, however, that oxygen is considered to be a drug. Do not increase the level unless a health-care provider has advised you to.
My health-care provider told me I might need a lung transplant. What would be the benefits and risks of this procedure?
A lung transplant has the potential to increase the survival rate. However, there are also many risks involved with it. Some of those risks are related to the medication used to prevent the body from rejecting the new lungs. Other risks such as infection are related to the operation itself.
Before deciding if someone with IPF is a good candidate for a lung transplant, the medical team looks at many factors, including the overall health and lifestyle of the person. Talk to the health-care provider or a specialist to see if a lung transplant would be a possibility.
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