Symptoms of Pulmonary Fibrosis | American Lung Association

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Symptoms of Pulmonary Fibrosis

older man coughing

One reason pulmonary fibrosis often goes misdiagnosed is that symptoms of PF can be similar to symptoms of other lung diseases. Most people with PF develop symptoms between the ages of 50 and 70 years. If you have any of the symptoms below, talk with your doctor right away and be persistent if you feel your lung health is not improving. Also be sure to tell your doctor about any family history of lung disease or any exposure to risk factors you may have had. There are many types of lung disease that can cause pulmonary fibrosis. It is important that your doctor refers you to a specialist to make the right diagnosis.

Shortness of breath may mean that your body is not getting enough oxygen. Talk to your doctor right away and push for an accurate diagnosis.

  • Shortness of breath, particularly during exercise
  • Dry, hacking cough
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Gradual unintended weight loss
  • Tiredness
  • Aching joints and muscles
  • Clubbing (widening and rounding) of the tips of the fingers or toes

If you are diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, learn more about managing symptoms and side effects.

    Reviewed and approved by the American Lung Association Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel. Last reviewed January 17, 2018.

    Page Last Updated: March 13, 2018

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