September marks Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month, and the AARC is prompting its members to engage with their communities and edify the public about the ailment and ongoing efforts to combat it.
One challenge in raising awareness about pulmonary fibrosis stems from its diversity – it encompasses roughly 200 distinct conditions collectively referred to as interstitial lung disease. The primary manifestation of this ailment, though, is idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), an extremely severe and typically fatal disorder affecting approximately 128,000 individuals in the U.S. Annually, around 48,000 new cases are identified, resulting in about 40,000 recorded fatalities – a figure comparable to breast cancer.
While many people familiar with the disease assume that there are no available treatments, this is not accurate. Although a cure remains elusive, various interventions such as supplementary oxygen, pulmonary rehabilitation, lung transplantation, preventative measures like flu and pneumonia vaccines, weight and exercise optimization, along with symptomatic management medications, have exhibited their efficacy.
Gaining Further Insight
Numerous of these interventions align with the treatments respiratory therapists employ routinely for their patients with other chronic lung diseases. Therapists interested in delving deeper into amalgamating these approaches into a comprehensive disease management regimen for patients grappling with conditions spanning from COPD to IPF are encouraged to enroll in our Pulmonary Disease Educator Course.
For additional information regarding pulmonary fibrosis, a visit to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation website is recommended. The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation enjoys a partnership with AARC as a patient-focused organization.
The time has come to elevate the visibility of pulmonary fibrosis on the national stage. September provides an ideal starting point. The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation extends various opportunities for engagement and urges you to contribute to the cause by employing #PFMonth and #BlueUp4PF in your social media posts.
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