Symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis can progress over time,
so make sure you’re monitoring your symptoms.
- Symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis can progress over time
- There is no way of predicting how fast your disease will progress
- There are treatments in Canada for some conditions with pulmonary fibrosis
Symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis can progress over time. Your doctor, supported by a wider team of experienced specialists, will use a combination of different tests you’ll be familiar with from diagnosis to track your condition.
Changes in your symptoms can indicate to your healthcare team if your disease is progressing. Talk to your healthcare team about your symptoms, and tell them about any changes you notice. By working together, you and your healthcare team can manage some of the symptoms through lifestyle changes and different treatments.
There is no way of predicting how fast your disease will progress. Some patients may notice few changes in their symptoms, while other patients experience a faster worsening of their symptoms. It is not known why some people’s disease progresses faster than others.
For example, the following diagram shows how idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) can progress.
IPF progression over time
A line graph showing four ways that IPF can progress over time, from onset of disease, to onset of symptoms, to diagnosis, to death.
Line A shows rapid disease progression (from onset of disease to death within 1 year).
Line B shows periods of relative stability punctuated by acute worsening or exacerbations (from onset of disease to death within 3 years). Line B has a star icon at the points of acute worsening or exacerbations, at just over 1 year and at about 2.5 years.
Line C shows gradual disease progression (from onset of disease to death within 6 years).
Line D shows stable disease progression (from onset of disease to diagnosis in 6 years).
Even though it is not possible to predict how your IPF will progress, there are treatments that can help. In Canada, there are two medications authorized for the treatment of IPF and one medication authorized for other chronic ILDs, in which pulmonary fibrosis can worsen over time.
Visit the medication page to learn more.