Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a condition in which the lungs become scarred and breathing becomes increasingly difficult. It’s not clear what causes it, but it usually affects people who are around 70 to 75 years old, and is rare in people under 50.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic, progressive lung disease. This condition causes scar tissue (fibrosis) to build up in the lungs, which makes the lungs unable to transport oxygen into the bloodstream effectively. The disease usually affects people between the ages of 50 and 70. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis belongs to a group of conditions called interstitial lung diseases (also known as ILD), which describes lung diseases that involve inflammation or scarring in the lung.
The most common signs and symptoms of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis are shortness of breath and a persistent dry, hacking cough. Many affected individuals also experience a loss of appetite and gradual weight loss. Some people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis develop widened and rounded tips of the fingers and toes (clubbing) resulting from a shortage of oxygen. These features are relatively nonspecific; not everyone with these health problems has idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Other respiratory diseases, some of which are less serious, can cause similar signs and symptoms.