Symptoms

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis are dry, persistent cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may be mild or even absent early in the disease process. As the lungs develop more scar tissue, symptoms worsen. Shortness of breath initially occurs with exercise, but as the disease progresses patients may become breathless while taking part in everyday activities, such as showering, getting dressed, speaking on the phone, or even eating.

Due to a lack of oxygen in the blood, some people with pulmonary fibrosis may also have “clubbing” of the fingertips. Clubbing is a thickening of the flesh under the fingernails, causing the nails to curve downward. It is not specific to pulmonary fibrosis or idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and occurs in other diseases of the lungs, heart, and liver, and can also be present at birth.

Additional Symptoms

Other common symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis include:

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Discomfort in the chest
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
Woman with PF coughing

Educational Materials

Find reliable information and trusted resources that can help you learn about pulmonary fibrosis and live better with PF.

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  • Pulmonary Fibrosis Quick Facts

    This one-page document provides quick facts about pulmonary fibrosis, including symptoms, causes, treatment options, and more.
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  • Pulmonary Fibrosis Information Guide

    Our comprehensive guide provides reliable information about pulmonary fibrosis, the diagnostic process, treatment options, and more.
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PFF Help Center

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