Pulmonary Fibrosis Information

What is it?

The words pulmonary fibrosis literally translates to lung scarring; the condition encompasses an abnormal formation of scar tissue in the lungs. The scar tissue builds up in the walls of the air sacs known as alveoli, and eventually makes it hard for air to pass through. Pulmonary fibrosis can be mild, severe or often life-threatening.

What causes it?

There are over 140 causes that have been identified towards the cause of pulmonary fibrosis, they can be grouped under the follow points:

  • Chronic inflammatory processes.
  • Infections.
  • Environmental agents.
  • Exposure to ionizing radiation.
  • Chronic conditions and diseases (e.g. lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis).
  • Certain medications.
  • Heightened immune reaction to inhaled organic dusts or occupational chemicals.
  • Sometimes can occur with no identifiable cause, most of these people have a condition called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) that does not respond to medical therapy.

What are we doing about it?

The Institute for Respiratory Health’s research programs explore new ways to prevent, and better understand IPF to improve how pulmonary fibrosis is managed.

Other pulmonary fibrosis information can be found at Lung Foundation AustraliaThoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand and Healthdirect Australia.