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By Teresa Bigham/The Hesperian-Beacon—
FLOYD COUNTY- September is national Pulmonary Fibrosis. What is Pulmonary Fibrosis you ask? It is a lung disease that occurs when lung tissue becomes damaged and scarred, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The scarring on the lungs eventually will limit the oxygen intake necessary for the brain, heart and other organs to function. The scarring associated with pulmonary fibrosis can be caused by a many factors and in most cases the cause of this problem can not be pinpointed. Unfortunately the damage cannot be repaired. The Mayo Clinic reports that medications and therapies can sometimes help ease symptoms and improve the quality of life. For some people, a lung transplant might be appropriate.
The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation reports that the signs and symptoms may include:
• Shortness of breath
• A dry cough
• Unexplained weight less
• Aching muscles and joints
• Widening and rounding of the tips of the fingers and toes, also known as clubbing.
The severity of symptoms can vary from person to person. Some people become ill very quickly, according to the Mayo Clinic. While others have moderate symptoms that worsen more slowly.
Long term exposure of toxins and pollutants can damage the lungs. The pulmonary fibrosis foundations reports that some of the toxins and pollutants can include but not limited to silica dust, asbestos fibers, hard metal dusts, coal dust, grains dust, bird and animals droppings.
While there is no cure, The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) national registry reports they have reached its target enrollment of 2,000 patients from across the country. The data in the registry will be used in studies that will lead to a better understanding of how to diagnose, treat and hopefully eventually cure the disease.