The diagnostic process for pulmonary fibrosis can often be challenging. For one, this condition can cause symptoms that are very similar to other lung conditions such as emphysema. Secondly, there can be so many different causes for pulmonary fibrosis that pinpointing the exact reasons that symptoms are developing can require additional testing.
Although this process can be frustrating, it is critical to receive an accurate diagnosis for the cause of your symptoms. While pulmonary fibrosis is not a curable condition, a proper diagnosis can give you a much better chance of finding success during the treatment process.
Typical Steps in the Diagnostic Process
If you are experiencing the symptoms associated with pulmonary fibrosis, including shortness of breath, fatigue and a dry cough, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. As a progressive condition, the sooner you seek treatment, the better your chances will be of managing symptoms and potentially slowing the progression of lung tissue damage.
When you see a doctor regarding your symptoms, here are the steps you should expect:
- Review of your medical history and current medications
- Discussion of your daily activities and potential symptom triggers
- Questions about overall lifestyle, including your occupation and your neighborhood’s air quality
- Performance of a physical examination, including listening to your breathing through a stethoscope
- Ordering of diagnostic imagery and lab tests, including X-ray and/or CT scan, tissue sampling, lung function testing and blood work
Once a diagnosis has been reached, treatment for pulmonary fibrosis can begin.
Treating Pulmonary Fibrosis
In addition to treatment options like medication, oxygen therapy and breathing exercises, doctors will generally recommend patients do whatever they can to promote lung health. This includes eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of light physical activity and avoiding breathing in irritants or toxins in the lungs, particularly cigarette smoke.
Another treatment option for pulmonary fibrosis is regenerative treatments, including the cellular therapy we provide at Lung Health Institute. We can use a sample of your own blood to help restore lung function and improve symptoms.
Take the next step to find relief. Contact one of our patient coordinators today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.