What happens now?
Treatments include pulmonary rehabilitation, an exercise programme, which will help you cope with the feelings of breathlessness. Oxygen therapy if the level of oxygen in your blood falls this could be from a portable oxygen cylinder or an oxygen concentrator at home. Medication to help with symptoms as well as medication to slow the scarring in your lungs. Only rarely are people offered a lung transplant.
IPF is an irreversible, progressive disease. So it is important to learn good coping skills and educate yourself about the disease as much as possible. Stopping smoking (if you do smoke) is the most important thing you can do to help slow down the progression of any lung disease. Others things you can do include remembering to get your flu vaccine every year as well as one for pneumonia. Keep away from people with chest infections and colds and wash your hands properly and often.
Staying fit and healthy is important too and you can find some useful hints and tips on how to get started on our blog post - Can you improve your lung function? It’s important to look after your mental health too and the British Lung Foundation has a list of support groups where you can make new friends who know what you're going through, and get lots of information about pulmonary fibrosis.