Living with pulmonary fibrosis

What is pulmonary fibrosis?

Pulmonary fibrosis indicates fibrosis, i.e. excessive formation of connective tissue, in the lungs. Pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic disease that is characterized by function loss of the lungs. Under normal conditions, the lung is capable of obtaining oxygen from the atmosphere and transfer it to the body. In pulmonary fibrosis, this capacity is largely reduced, leading to shortness of breath and lack of energy.

Etiology and epidemiology

Pulmonary fibrosis can be the result of inhaling various damaging compounds, the use of certain drugs or radiation therapy. However, some familiar cases of pulmonary fibrosis have also been reported. Unfortunately, the exact cause(s) remains unclear in most cases. Pulmonary fibrosis occurs in both men and women with an incidence of approximately 1000-1500 new cases each year in the Netherlands.

Prognosis and treatment

The prognosis of pulmonary fibrosis may vary largely from case to case but in general there’s no change on complete recovery. Unfortunately, current treatment fails to be completely efficacious. Antioxidants could exert a beneficial effect. Currently, possible new treatments are under investigation. Besides treatment, additional oxygen and physiotherapy could also exert beneficial effects. When the lung function is deteriorating without sufficient effect of medication, a lung transplant may be worthwhile in certain cases.


Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease associated with large social and emotional consequences for both the patients and their beloved ones. Therefore, this disease requires professional guidance that does not only focus on the medical aspects but also on the influence of the disease on the quality of life.

Dutch Patient Society for Pulmonary Fibrosis

The main goals of this society are to provide information and to facilitate the contact between patients in order to support, comfort and help each other.

Contents of the dvd

The diagnosis pulmonary fibrosis raises a lot of questions regarding possible treatments, prognosis, heredity and so on. This dvd ‘Living with pulmonary fibrosis’ tries to answer most of these questions. Patients tell about their lives while physicians give more information regarding the prognosis and treatment of the disease. Furthermore, the dvd contains lectures regarding various aspects of the disease to provide additional information.


Production: Wil Bleus and Robin Janse, Media Service, MUMC, Maatricht, NL
Interviews: Olga Hupkens
Lay-out: Marjon Elfferich
Cover picture: Petal Wijnen
Print: NPN Drukkers, Breda, the Netherlands
ISBN/EAN: 978-90-78076-06-3
Copyright: ild care foundation



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