Pulmonary fibrosis is a lung condition characterized by damaged and scarred lung tissue.

The thickening and hardening of tissue makes it difficult for the lungs to function properly. As pulmonary fibrosis worsens, the patient will become more and more short of breath. Other symptoms may include a dry cough, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, aching muscles and joints, or widening and rounding of the tips of the fingers or toes.

The scarring associated with pulmonary fibrosis can have many causes, including scleroderma.

In many cases, the physician is unable to identify what is causing the fibrosis; if the cause is unknown, the condition is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Although many investigations are underway, there is currently no way to repair the lung damage from pulmonary fibrosis. 

However, medications and therapies can help ease symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life. In severe cases, lung transplants may be necessary.