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September is pulmonary fibrosis awareness month

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The Retirement Systems of Alabama buildings in Montgomery and Mobile are being lit up blue this month. The recognition is for a lung disease that affects 250,000 people nationwide.

September is pulmonary fibrosis awareness month. The condition causes scarring damage to lung tissue. This makes it difficult for oxygen to move through the lungs into the body.  

Dr. Amy Hajari Case is the Medical Advisor for Awareness at the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. She says warning signs for the disease include persistent dry cough, shortness of breath and fatigue.  

“In a 2020 national survey that was conducted by the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, we found that 86% of Americans were actually not aware of the symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis. These symptoms can be seen in other respiratory illnesses and even cardiac disease. So, they can be overlooked or even misdiagnosed as other conditions.”  

The Retirement Systems of Alabama buildings in Montgomery and Mobile are being lit up blue this month. The recognition is for a lung disease that affects 250,000 people nationwide. Pulmonary fibrosis causes scarring damage to lung tissue.  

Early symptoms of the disease include persistent dry cough, shortness of breath and fatigue. Dr. Amy Hajari Case says pulmonary fibrosis is not curable.

“But early diagnosis and treatment can slow down disease progression. We use supportive care treatments like supplemental oxygen. Pulmonary rehabilitation, which is a structured exercise program for people with lung problems.”  

Pulmonary fibrosis walks will be held virtually on September 25th nationwide.