Causes and Treatments for Lung Scarring

Lungs are the part of respiratory system. These are responsible for respiring. They contain network of airways known as bronchi which branch into tiny tubes known as bronchioles. These bronchioles end in smaller air sacs known as alveoli. Lungs are delicate organs and are more susceptible to scarring and damage by various disorders and diseases.

Causes of Lung Scarring:

Following are the causes of lung scarring.

  • Infections:

    Viral infections, like cytomegalovirus, bacterial infections, like pneumonia and fungal infections, such as histoplasmosis cause lung diseases which leads to further scarring and damage to lungs.

  • Interstitial Lung Disease:

    This is referred to as a group of lung disorders. There are various causes for the disease, generally disease progresses causing lung tissue scarring. These scars affects the functioning of lungs and are permanent.

  • Radiation Therapy:

    People with cancer undergo radiation therapy. They are at higher risk for the damage of lungs. Extent of damage and whether formation of scar tissues on lungs is dependent on variety of factors, such as health of lungs and length and dose of radiation therapy.

  • Environmental and Occupational Factors:

    Exposing to pollutants and toxins, such as asbestos or silica dust for long duration increases risk for lung disease and hence, leads to scar tissue. Other substances include animal droppings, molds, dust, sugar cane and grains also damage lungs.

  • Medications:

    Some medications, such as heart drugs, chemotherapy drugs, psychiatric medicines and certain antibiotics cause damage to lungs. The damage that is caused by medicines is rarely irreversible, but people with underlying lung diseases have more chances of suffering from scar tissue.

  • Pulmonary Fibrosis:

    This is a chronic lung disease that involves abnormal formation of fiber-like scars on lungs. In the initial stage, lungs become inflamed and makes difficulty in breathing. Alveoli becomes twisted out of shape as the disease progresses and causes capillaries to become distorted. This also interrupts flow of blood to lungs. Disease may remain mild and causes few symptoms.

Treatments for Lung Scarring:

Treatments for scar tissue is based upon the disease and also on the extent of damage. Once scarring occurs, it is permanent. If scar tissue is caused by cessation of exposure, environmental factor may prevent further damage. Anti-fibrotics reduce the development of scar tissue. Anti inflammatory drugs, like corticosteroids give temporary relief from the symptoms.

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