Frequently Asked Questions

“That’s an excellent question!” – You will hear this a lot. Do not get frustrated, it’s not your Doctors fault if he or she does not have the answers. Through fundraising and support, advances in research will help answer those questions.

What causes Pulmonary Fibrosis?

Some of the known causes include asbestos, exposure to elements from coal mining, and bird farming and smoking can also increase the risk of developing PF. The majority of patients are not able to identify the cause and therefore suffer from Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.

What are the symptoms of PF?

Chronic breathlessness is the most common and recognizable symptom. A dry, hacking cough may also develop. Furthermore, you may experience a loss of appetite and dramatic weight-loss.

What are key indicators for concern?

“That’s an Excellent question!” Research has not yet identified all key indicators, however if you have severe shortness of breath and trouble breathing and cannot recover within 10 minutes, present yourself to your local hospital in emergency or dial 911.

What is the prognosis?

Pulmonary Fibrosis has an unpredictable path and life expectancy without a lung translplant averages 2-5 years from the date of diagnosis. Some patients have lived for up to 20 years.

What treatments are available?

There are no effective treatments for PF, however your doctor may prescribe oxygen. He or she may also prescribe Prednisone, which can ease the cough symptoms and make breathing easier. Please consult your Doctor for more information.

Should I maintain an active lifestyle?

Absolutely. It is essential to exercise your lungs as much as possible, however always consult your Doctor.

Can I travel?

Yes, however be cautious of high altitudes as this may result in hypoxia (oxygen loss) and medical oxygen is not available everywhere – check before you travel. If you are placed on the lung transplant list, you will not be permitted to travel as you will be required to be in close proximity to the hospital at all times.

What about alternative medicines?

If regular treatment is not successful, there are some alternative medicines which may be worth considering and some Chinese medicines have proven effective. This is a personal choice and you should always discuss with your Doctor.

What can I do to help myself?

Listen to your doctor. Avoid risk of infection. Vaccinate against flus and other sicknesses, including pneumonia, regularly and remain positive!

Build your circle of friends. If you are placed on the transplant list their support will be important.

How can I help someone who is suffering from PF?

Just provide the support and help they need, please do not consider it an imposition because they really do need you.