The scarring of the lungs that occurs with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis cannot be reversed. However, some treatments may improve symptoms temporarily or slow the progress of the disease:
Stopping smoking immediately is very important for all patients with IPF. If you smoke, your doctor can help recommend treatments which will help you quit. Patients should also avoid sources of any lung irritant, including allergens, toxins, fumes, dust, and second hand smoke.
Pulmonary rehabilitation is a standard treatment for people with chronic lung disease. It is a broad program that helps improve quality of life and well-being for people with these conditions. Pulmonary rehab may include:
- Exercise training
- Nutritional counseling
- Psychological counseling or support groups
- Breathing strategies or exercises
- Education about the condition and the best way to manage it
- Techniques for conserving energy
Pulmonary rehab does not replace medical therapy. It is used alongside medical treatments to help patients better manage their conditions and function at their best.