Information in simple English

What is pulmonary fibrosis?

Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition in which the lungs become scarred and damaged. The tissues of the lungs become thickened and stiffed, resulting in less working capability of lungs. There is no cure for this disease, and treatment choices are restricted.



  • Breathing problems (dyspnea)
  • Dry cough
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss that isn't explained
  • Muscles and joints that hurt
  • Nail clubbing


  • Long-term exposure to a toxin 
  • Cetain medications
  • Tobacco smoking
  • Infections (including COVID-19 and related SARS viruses)
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Radiation therapy
  • Environmental factors:
    • Silica dust
    •  Asbestos fiber
    •  Hard metal dust
    •  Coal dust
    •  Grain dust
    •  Bird and animal droppings



  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF): sort of chronic scarring lung disease that reduces lung function that's irreversible.  
  • Familial Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis: genetic predisposition, happens when two or more members from the same family have IPF or any other form of Idiopathic Interstitial Pneumonia.
  • From Exposure: result from long-term exposure to hazardous materials, such as occupational exposure to asbestos or silica, breathing in animal or birds droppings. 
  • From another disease:  caused by reaction if an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, or Sjogren's Syndrome. Some viral infections and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can also lead to this condition.