3 older people having coffee and talking with each other.

A

Acid reflux
Happens when stomach acid travels up into and irritates the esophagus (tube connecting the throat with the stomach)

Acute exacerbation
An event characterized by sudden, severe worsening of symptoms or an increase in disease severity

Alveoli
Tiny air sacs in the lungs where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from the blood takes place

Antibodies
Little proteins that form a key part of the body’s defense against foreign substances like bacteria and viruses. They search for and attach themselves to these invaders, helping the immune system find and get rid of them

Antifibrotic
A type of medication that prevents or reduces scarring 

Arterial blood gas test
A test that shows how well the lungs are working by measuring how much oxygen and carbon dioxide is in the blood. This test requires that a small volume of blood be drawn from the patient

Auto-antibodies
Antibodies that target the body’s own cells, instead of invaders

Autoimmune disease
Disease where the immune system acts against the person’s own body. “Auto” = self; “Immune” = protection against

B

Breathing exercises
Techniques that involve breathing in a certain way to control breathlessness and strengthen the lungs

Bronchoalveolar lavage
A procedure in which a bronchoscope (a medical instrument like a tube) is passed through the mouth or nose into the lung and fluid is squirted into a small part of the lung and then collected for examination

C

Calcinosis
Hard lumps (made from calcium) that develop in the innermost layer of skin or in muscle

Cardiovascular
Refers to the heart and blood vessels

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
A type of chronic lung disease that typically worsens over time and is characterized by long-term breathing problems and poor airflow 

Co-existing conditions
A disease or condition that occurs at the same time as another disease or condition

Collagen
A component of connective tissue

Computed tomography (CT)
A type of X-ray that provides more detailed imaging than normal X-rays are capable of providing

Connective tissue
Tissue that supports and connects other tissues and parts of the body, e.g., tendons, cartilage, bone

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device
A device to deliver compressed air to improve sleep in people with obstructive sleep apnea

D

Dermatoscope
Microscope or a small camera used to look at your skin

E

Echocardiogram
Test that uses soundwaves to look at the structure of the heart and how well it can pump blood

Electrocardiogram
Test that records electrical signals from the heart, to see how well the heart is beating

Emphysema
A lung condition where the air sacs within the lungs (alveoli) become damaged

F

Fatigue
Extreme weariness resulting from exertion or illness

Fibroblasts
A type of cell found in connective tissue that produces collagen

Fibrosis
Formation of excessive fibrous tissue that occurs in the formation of scar tissue

Finger clubbing
A symptom where the ends of the fingers become wider and rounder

Forced vital capacity (FVC)
The total amount of air exhaled during forced expiratory volume (FEV) test

G

Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD)
A digestive disease where stomach acid moves up out of the stomach and irritates the lining of the food pipe (esophagus)

H

Heartburn
A burning sensation in the chest, which can spread to the throat, along with a sour taste in the mouth

High-resolution computed tomography scan (HRCT)
A test that uses a type of X-ray that produces multiple, detailed images of areas inside the body

I

Idiopathic
Of unknown cause

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
A disease where there is progressive scarring or thickening of the lungs without a known cause

Immune system
Your body’s defense system against foreign organisms or substances

Inflammation
A normal response from your immune system, causing the affected part of the body to become red, swollen, hot, and often painful, in reaction to injury or infection

Interstitial lung disease
A group of lung disorders that are characterized by scarring of the deep lung tissue that can cause breathing issues such as shortness of breath and loss of functioning alveoli

Interstitium
The lace-like network of tissue that supports the air sacs

L

Lung biopsy
The surgical removal of cells or tissue samples from the lung for examination by a pathologist

Lung transplantation
An operation to replace a patient’s diseased lungs with lungs from a donor

M

Mindfulness
A technique that helps to reduce stress and anxiety by helping a person to understand and manage their emotions

MRI
Magnetic resonance imaging. A scan that uses a magnet and radio waves to look at organs and structures inside the body

Music therapy
Listening to and playing music as a therapy which aims to ease the symptoms of those living with pulmonary fibrosis

N

Nailfold capillaroscopy
A painless test that uses a microscope or a small camera to check the tiny blood vessels at the base of the nail

Nasal cannula
A small plastic tube with prongs that fit in the nostrils to deliver supplementary oxygen

O

Obstructive sleep apnea
A sleep disorder characterized by breathing that repeatedly stops and starts during sleep

Occupational therapist
A specialist who helps someone recover or live with their symptoms more easily

Oxygen concentrator
A machine that removes other gases from the air to provide oxygen for oxygen therapy

Oxygen therapy
Administration of oxygen as a medical intervention

P

Palliative care
Therapy that provides relief from symptoms to help patients live more comfortably with their disease

Power of attorney
A formal documentation when someone else is given the responsibility to manage a person’s affairs and make certain decisions on their behalf

Progression
The worsening of a disease/condition over time

Pulmonary
Refers to the lungs

Pulmonary arterial hypertension
A lung problem when the pressure in the blood vessels in the lungs gets too high

Pulmonary fibrosis
Scarring in the lungs

Pulmonary function test
A group of tests used to check how well the lungs take in and release air and how well they supply oxygen to the rest of the body

Pulmonary hypertension
A type of high blood pressure that affects the blood vessels to the lungs and the right side of the heart

Pulmonary rehabilitation
An education and exercise program designed to improve the quality of life for people with lung conditions

Pulse oximetry
A test used to monitor oxygen levels in a patient’s blood, usually with a non-invasive sensor

Pursed-lip breathing
A breathing technique to help control breathlessness and reduce anxiety

R

Rare disease
A disease that affects only a small percentage of the population

Raynaud's phenomenon
A sudden decrease in blood supply to the extremities, which causes fingers and/or toes to get numb, cold and painful, with changes to skin colour (usually white to blue/purple then to red)

Respiratory
Relating to the act of breathing

Respirologist
A physician specialized in lung problems 

Rheumatoid arthritis
A long-term autoimmune disease that causes pain, swelling and deformity of the joints

S

Sclerodactyly
Thickening and tightening of the skin on the fingers or toes

Scleroderma (systemic sclerosis)
The sclerosis (hardening) of the skin (derma), specifically. However, scleroderma is the term that is often used when discussing the disorder known as systemic sclerosis. Systemic sclerosis is a rare, chronic, autoimmune rheumatic disorder characterized by degenerative changes and scarring in the skin, joints, and internal organs and by blood vessel abnormalities

Sclerosis
The hardening or thickening of tissues in the body

Spirometry
The measurement of breathing capacity using a device called a spirometer

Symptoms
Any feeling of illness or physical or mental change that is caused by a particular disease

Syndrome
A set of medical signs and symptoms that consistently occur together, or a particular disease or disorder that is characterized by a set of associated symptoms

Systemic
Something that has an effect on the whole body and not just one part of it

Systemic sclerosis overlap syndrome
Patients with systemic sclerosis who also exhibit features of another autoimmune connective tissue disease at the same time, such as rheumatoid arthritis

T

Telangiectasia
Small red spots caused by widened blood vessels, usually on the hands and face

V

Vaccine
A product that gives protection against a specific infection