Often mistaken for asthma, pneumonia or COPD, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is considered a rare disease, making it difficult to diagnose and assess.
This condition only affects the lungs and especially affects the elderly, whose first symptoms include a hacking cough and severe shortness of breath.
The early detection of pulmonary fibrosis is the best strategy to surviving this condition. This allows for it to be treated efficiently, ensuring the best quality of life to those who suffer from it. According to the medical encyclopedia Medline Plus, some of the symptoms that can appear include: difficulty breathing, a dry hacking cough that does not improve, fatigue, weight-loss for no apparent reason, muscle and joint pain and clubbing (a condition of the tips of the fingers and toes that causes them to widen and causes the nails to curve). Read also: Pay attention to the health of your lungs
While treatment used to consist mostly of minimizing symptoms, and while getting a lung transplant used to be the only option for severe cases as Roche Pharmaceuticals has stated patient’s survival rates are now be improved due to advances in medicine, a greater understanding of the disease and to anti-fibrotic therapy.
In Colombia, there are 14 cases for every 100,000 inhabitants and it is more common among men.