What Does Fibrosis Mean?
Fibrosis is the accumulation of fibrous connective tissue or scarification that occurs as a physiological response due to the development of health conditions linked with lifestyle choices (i.e., smoking) or inhalation of environmental antigens. Although fibrosis contributes to normal healing processes due to an impairment, the systemic effects can have otherwise adverse implications on the structural integrity and function of organs, often affecting cardiac, nephritic (liver), and pulmonary tissue.
WorkplaceTesting Explains Fibrosis
The severity of fibrosis can dictate the progression of a diagnosis at the affected site combined with surrounding connective tissue and adjacent organs to the point of disrupting intracellular activity that is crucial to homeostatic survival. For instance, pulmonary fibrosis is a common pathology characterized by the gradual buildup of fibrotic tissue from airborne contaminants or toxins, occluding the alveoli (small air sacs) that promote respiration in healthy lungs. There are three subclasses of pulmonary fibrosis including replacement fibrosis, focal fibrosis, and diffuse parenchymal lung disease (DPLD), all carrying a host of different factors that can lead to epidemiological repercussions by a range of symptoms. Individuals with pulmonary fibrosis may experience difficulty breathing, chest pain, coughing fits, and fatigue, prompting medical intervention treatments early to bolster recovery via immunosuppressants such as corticosteroids or, depending on the prognosis, a lung transplant.
Interstitial lung disease is an umbrella term for conditions that are characteristic of fibrotic scarring on the lungs that can occur in different industries where employees are vulnerable to inhaling airborne contaminants inhibiting oxygen supply. For many individuals, occupational hazards exist in the form of residual byproducts from manufacturing processes where essential job tasks often carry the risk of exposure to primary culprits including coal dust, asbestos/silica deposits, gaseous compounds, and noxious fumes. Liver cirrhosis and cardiac fibrosis are variations noted respectively by scarring of the liver, compromising the interplay between nutrient delivery and toxin removal from the bloodstream and myocardial infarction (heart attack) disrupting valvular pathways of the heart muscle.