Eileen, I am so sorry you've been visited with both COPD and PF. It's a difficult combination to manage. X-rays aren't good diagnostic tools, so you should have a spirometry or Pulmonary Function Test to see if you have COPD. I'd guess a CT might be important, especially for the PF piece. I hope your pulmonologist provides you support and a good treatment plan. Since they often don't have time to answer your questions, you might want to see if an RT or nurse can talk with you and answer questions for you. You definitely want to understand and know why your doc is prescribing this, that and the next thing. Questions about what YOU can do for yourself are also important and should include things like regular exercise, diet, weight control, how to take your meds, etc.
I know it's no comfort to you to find that you developed both of these diseases and never smoked, but it's important information for research. I really encourage you to go to www.copdfoundation.org and look at both the learn more and the research tab. You could join the Patient Powered Research Network there, and perhaps consider participating in some clinical trials. You can go to www.clinicaltrials.gov to see if there are clinical trials or studies regarding both conditions; you might even find one close to you that you could participate in. I'd suggest that you find either a Center of Excellence in Pulmonology or a University Hospital with a good Pulmonology Department near you and talk with them about research they are participating in that you might qualify for. There are lots of things you can do that will help us learn more about both diseases.
Thanks very much Jean. My xray showed both.tho I'm a never smoker waiting to see pulmonologist to get some treatment. Take care.
COPD is an umbrella term including both emphysema and chronic bronchitis. In emphysema the air sacs are damaged and in chronic bronchitis the bronchial tubes are thickened and narrowed; both conditions lead to obstructed breathing. Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition where the lungs are scarred and stiff. All three conditions cause difficulties in breathing. That's how it affects people.
Good informed for all of us. Thanks.