In simple terms, pulmonary fibrosis (PF) means scarring in the lungs that, over time, can destroy the normal lung and make it hard for oxygen to get into your blood. Watch video
While COVID-19 and PF share symptoms of shortness of breath and cough, patients with COVID-19 who develop shortness of breath usually experience acute onset and progression of this symptom over days and weeks, along with fever. PF symptoms are chronic and long-lasting.
PF has been referenced as a possible consequence of COVID-19, however, that has not yet been scientifically proven. For COVID-19 patients who have severe respiratory failure and require mechanical ventilation, fibrosis may occur as a result of the devastating lung injury.
To learn more about PF and COVID-19, click here.
Talk to your doctor about pulmonary fibrosis. Ask your doctor to listen for crackles in your lungs, and about pulmonary function and/or high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) tests to help facilitate a clear diagnosis. A referral to a pulmonologist—a lung specialist—may be necessary. You can find a local pulmonologist through the PFF Care Center Network, which includes centers with experience in the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary fibrosis. Be persistent and advocate for your health.