Frequent Shortness of Breath and Dry Cough? Beware of the Symptoms of This Rare Disease

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a disease that causes permanent damage to the lungs through progressive (monotonous) scarring. This disease is irreversible and fatal. There were approximately five,577 people with IPF in Indonesia in 2017.

The spread of scarring in lung tissue results in difficulty breathing in the patient. However, signs based on IPF are still too vague and like using other symptoms of lung disease.

Described by a pulmonary specialist, dr. Sita Andarini, Sp.P(K), the generic occurs is a dry cough and shortness of breath, where the symptoms are also present in lung diseases such as pneumonia &sarcoidosis.

“Then people with this disease are generally old age, which is 55 years and above,” he continued. “But it can also occur at a younger age if there is a genetic history.”

Then there are signs of tabuh fingers (club fingers), which are fingers that do not have a cavity like the finger in general. The fingernails on the fingers are prominent, this is due to the hypoxia (lack of oxygen).

“In addition, people with fatigue quickly, weight decreased, and in physical examination, the breath of people with IPF is like velcro-like crackles. So his breath sounded like the sound of adhesive being pulled open, kretek-kretek so,” explained Dr. Sita.

In addition to the signs, there are also those that must be watched out for, namely risk factors and causes. But for the cause, dr Agus Dwi Susanto, Sp.P(K), a pulmonary specialist at Friendship Hospital said the primary cause of IPF is not yet known.

“As the name implies, idiopathic (unknown),” said Dr Agus. “But some evidence suggests the possibility of genetic factors. About 5% of IPF has relatives affected by IPF as well.”

Read also: For 12 Years This Woman Didn’t Stop Coughing

Although the exact cause is not yet clear, there are 5 factors that have definitely been at risk of contracting IPF. Namely the history of smoking (either past or still today, an overview of exclusive types of dust, viral infections, Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), as well as environmental factors such as homes near factories that emit smoke or workplaces.

IPF is still a foreign disease for Indonesians, but the sufferer is estimated to be higher by year. Although it can not be cured, at least we can prevent and help recognize through the signs and risk factors.

Read also: Finally Drugs Enter the Fast Track, HArapan For People with IPF in Indonesia


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