Pulmonary fibrosis, a rare lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe, affects hundreds of thousands of Americans and there are more than 50,000 new cases each year. That’s why, this September for Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month, the American Lung Association in North Dakota released a series of resources to raise awareness and educate the public about this devastating lung disease.
“Pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic lung disease that is often fatal, with most succumbing to the disease three to five years after diagnosis. Many patients who suffer from this disease compare it to trying to breathe through a tiny straw, as patient Randy Cooke describes in our new video series,” said Becky K Anderson, RRT, manager, Disease Management for the Sanford Medical Center Fargo and volunteer for the Lung Association. “Most cases of pulmonary fibrosis have no known cause and currently there is no cure. There is still much to be discovered on how to prevent and treat this serious lung disease, so we urge the public to share this information with friends and family to help us raise awareness during Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month.”
This September, the Lung Association released several resources to support patients with pulmonary fibrosis and their caregivers:
- Video Series: In a new series of videos produced by the Lung Association, Cooke shares his tips on what he’s learned after being diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis – the most common type of pulmonary fibrosis that affects 140,000 Americans. The videos can be found at Lung.org/pf or by visiting the American Lung Association’s YouTubepage at YouTube.com/user/americanlung.
- Online Support Communities: The Lung Association is offering an expert series on online support communities for both patients and caregivers.
- September 10 – 14, join our “Living with Pulmonary Fibrosis” online support community and ask respiratory therapists from the Lung Association’s Lung HelpLine (1-800-LUNGUSA) your most pressing questions about diagnosing and living with pulmonary fibrosis.
- September 17 – 21, the series moves to our “Caring for Pulmonary Fibrosis” online support community, an opportunity for caregivers to ask specific questions.
- Better Breathers Clubs: Pulmonary fibrosis patients and caregivers can receive in-person support from medical providers and others living with the disease at Better Breathers Clubs. These Clubs offer access to local resources and advice on how to cope with pulmonary fibrosis while getting the support from others who are also living with chronic lung diseases. Local Better Breathers Clubs can be found at Lung.org/better-breathers.
“While you can’t cure pulmonary fibrosis, there are a number of things you can do to maintain a good quality of life and stay as healthy as possible. Better Breathers Clubs offer practical and useful information to help you stay active, reduce stress, protect your lungs and manage side effects,” said Anderson. “Working together, we can offer hope to everyone affected by chronic lung disease.”