Pune witnesses a surge in lung disease, say experts

At a special media interaction on Wednesday, Pulmonologist, Dr Mahavir Modi, said, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a chronic and ultimately fatal disease characterised by a progressive decline in lung function, has gone up in Pune. Dr Modi stated that lung transplant remains the only way to treat this disease but stated that lung transplant is presently not available in Pune which is a major concern

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  • He spoke about the need to spread awareness about Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis stating that early diagnosis of the disease can help in treating the patients more efficiently.
  • He added that since past two to three years he has been diagnosing close to 12-15 new patients every month with IPF. While, earlier only around one patient per week was diagnosed.

“Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis is a type of lung disease that results in damage and scarring (fibrosis) of the lungs. Over time, this thickened, and stiff scarring becomes worse, making it hard to breathe. Further, as the disease progresses, day to day activities are hampered as the individual suffering from IPF finds it extremely difficult to function due to the deprivation of oxygen to the body. The average survival time of the IPF patients is about 3-5 years after the diagnosis. Hence, early diagnosis of IPF is of extreme importance,” said Dr Modi.

“The disease is more common in males as compared to females. This may be because of smoking pattern and exposure to some environmental pollutants. The disease is such that its symptoms tend to vary from individual to individual, however, the initial symptoms always involve breathlessness upon exertion and dry cough that lasts longer than 8 weeks. Any person experiencing these symptoms should visit a doctor at the earliest to ensure early diagnosis and correct treatment can be started,” said Modi.