Kamal Anjum, MD, FCCP
Pulmonary Medicine & Critical Care located in Hollywood, FL
Pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive lung disease that typically appears in your 50s and 60s. With a specialization in internal medicine and pulmonary medicine, Kamal Anjum, MD, FCCP, offers diagnostic testing and comprehensive care for pulmonary fibrosis, including today’s most advanced medications that may help slow down the progressive scarring. If you have questions about symptoms such as shortness of breath, or you’d like to schedule an appointment, call the practice of K. Anjum, MD, FCCP, in Hollywood, Florida, or use the online booking form.
Pulmonary Fibrosis Q & A
What is pulmonary fibrosis?
Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition that occurs when the air sacs in your lungs become scarred. As the scar tissue becomes thick and stiff, the air sacs send less oxygen into your bloodstream. As a result, your muscles, brain, heart, and other vital organs are deprived of oxygen. The ongoing buildup of scar tissue also makes it hard to expand your lungs to breathe normally.
What symptoms develop due to pulmonary fibrosis?
The symptoms caused by pulmonary fibrosis may develop slowly or suddenly get worse. In both cases, you experience problems such as:
- Shortness of breath
- Dry cough
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- Unexplained weight loss
- Aching joints and muscles
Lack of oxygen in your blood may also cause clubbing, a rounded enlargement of the ends of one or more of your fingers or toes.
What causes pulmonary fibrosis?
Most patients are diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which means the underlying cause can’t be determined. Though the cause often remains unknown, doctors know that your risk for developing pulmonary fibrosis increases if you:
- Smoke cigarettes
- Have been exposed to environmental toxins
- Had radiation treatment
- Have a history of viral or bacterial lung infections
- Have been exposed to asbestos
- Take certain medications
- Have an autoimmune disease
Your risk is also higher if your job exposes you to substances such as metal, grain, or coal dust.
How is pulmonary fibrosis treated?
When you meet with Dr. Anjum for the first time, he reviews your medical history, evaluates your risk factors for pulmonary fibrosis, and then performs a thorough physical exam and pulmonary testing. He may also order blood work and lung X-rays.
Though any existing scar tissue can’t be treated, Dr. Anjum may prescribe medications that slow down the progression of pulmonary fibrosis and help prevent future scarring. You may also need antacids to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, a condition that affects many patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Dr. Anjum may prescribe oxygen therapy to make breathing easier and prevent problems caused by low blood oxygen. You may also need pulmonary rehabilitation, a specialized program that includes physical exercise, nutritional counseling, and education about pulmonary fibrosis. In pulmonary rehab you also learn breathing techniques that help improve your daily functioning.
If you develop shortness of breath or a dry, hacking cough, call K. Anjum, MD, FCCP, or schedule an appointment online.