How does pulmonary fibrosis affect the body?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Pulmonary fibrosis damages your lungs, and therefore, your ability to breathe. When your lungs are working properly, oxygen passes through the thin walls of little air sacs in your lungs (alveoli) into small blood vessels, which then circulate the oxygen to the rest of your body. If you have pulmonary fibrosis, the alveoli are damaged and become scarred. As the scarred alveoli walls become thicker and stiffer, the alveoli lose their ability to transfer oxygen to the bloodstream, which is how pulmonary fibrosis causes breathing trouble.

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