Pulmonary Fibrosis: An Easily Overlooked Condition Caused by Smoking

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Pulmonary fibrosis (PF), a condition with no known cure, affects more than 200,000 Americans, according to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. However, a recent foundation survey revealed that over 80% of smokers are unfamiliar with the disease and nearly 9 out of 10 Americans do not know its symptoms.



What is pulmonary fibrosis?


Simply put, PF means scarring in the lungs. It is a disease that causes damage and scarring to lung tissue. Over time, the thickened, stiff scarred tissue can make it hard for oxygen to get into the blood and make it more difficult for the lungs to work properly. Low oxygen levels can lead to shortness of breath, especially when walking and exercising.


PF can also result in a dry cough, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, aching muscles and joints, as well as widening and rounding of the tips of the fingers or toes. Smokers usually know that tobacco usage can lead to diseases such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and emphysema, but they are frequently unaware of PF. It is important for a smoker to speak with a doctor if she or he has chronic symptoms similar to those of PF, like a dry, persistent cough.



In fact, PF can be caused by many different factors, including long-term exposure to certain toxins, certain medical conditions, radiation therapy, and some medications. Among the risk factors, it is worth noting that far more smokers and former smokers develop PF than people who have never smoked.


Other health risks of smoking tobacco


Apart from PF, cigarette smoking can do harm to almost every organ in the body, leading to many diseases in smokers. Ten of the worst diseases that smoking can cause include lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, stroke, asthma, ectopic pregnancy in women, premature and low birth-weight babies, diabetes, eye problems including blindness, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration, as well as other types of cancer that may affect the overall body.



Additionally, secondhand smoke can also cause disease and premature death in nonsmoking adults and children. Therefore, quitting smoking will not only lower your risk for smoking-related diseases and extend your life expectancy, but also protect family members, coworkers, friends, and others from the health risks associated with breathing secondhand smoke.


What can you do to quit smoking?


Regardless of your age or how long you have been smoking, it is never too late to stop. Here are some tips on how to be successful.



First, focus on your motivators and build your confidence. Do not get discouraged even if you have failed in previous attempts. Increase your confidence by achieving a series of small goals as you visualize your success. Also, be prepared with other ways besides smoking to manage stress and negative emotions. It is also a good idea to tell friends and family that you are trying to quit. Enlisting their support will help ease the process.


Quitting smoking can be a long journey, but every effort you make will bring you closer to health!

3 Answers

These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.
I smoked for 50 yrs. I have copd I decided I was going to quit. I was on oxygen 24 hrs. Once I quit smoking  I don't need oxygen anymore.i don't cough.i would say to anyone that smokes quit before it is to late.
I quit smoking. However, in June of 2019, I was cleaning my bathroom. Instead of diluting the bleach with water, I used straight bleach. Very often I had to leave my bathroom due to the bleach fumes.

Much later, my doctor discovered I had scaring on my lungs due to the bleach fumes.

Is It possible that I have this medical condition? I just got diagnosed with Bronchitis. I also have a permanent cough. Now I have to use an inhaler.

Also, recently, I had a Pulmonary test. My doctor said I don’t have Asthma or COBD.

He said I have scaring on my lungs due to the bleach fumes. I also now wheeze.
Did bleach do this?
The lungs were most likely scarred due to a number of things, especially if you ever had pneumonia. I had bronchial pneumonia when I was an infant, that left me with lung scarring. I wish you well. God bless
I inhaled so much bleach fumes i ended up passing out and woke up in the hospital so yes breathing in too many bleach fumes could possibly be fatal. Watch cleaning with straight bleach guys
It would be helpful and important to point more specifically to causes other than smoking as PF cause. My sister-in-law and three brothers ( so far) died of this, all non smokers. But they grew up on farms, working I’m sure. In 30’s, early 40’s there were no regulations on pesticide content. I’m convinced that was unfair cause for these siblings. Dr told her she had two years left and she died in precisely two years of eventually no. Way to breathe. Hideous death and life ahead knowing how much time one has on this earth. Being unselfish, no one knew till shortly before her time was waning. Hopefully, all such farm and yard products have been federally banned.

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