Why Lung Function Matters

Know the characteristics of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)

  • IPF is progressive. This means that the scarring caused by IPF will continue to happen, and lung function will continue to get worse
  • IPF is unpredictable. It is difficult to know how slowly or quickly IPF will progress. Each person’s experience is different
  • IPF is irreversible. Once there is scarring in the lungs, it cannot be reversed. Today, there is no cure for IPF, but there are treatment options that may slow its progression
  • Learn more about how Esbriet® (pirfenidone) may help >

Ask your doctor about the progression of IPF over time

How IPF impacts lung function

  • “Lung function” refers to:
    • How well the lungs can breathe in and out and exchange gases such as oxygen
    • Oxygen is vital to the body
  • IPF reduces lung function by causing permanent scarring around parts of the lungs. This scarring keeps the lungs from breathing in and transporting as much oxygen as they used to
  • It’s important to talk to your doctor about your lung function and how it impacts your body

How your doctor may test lung function

There are a few different types of tests that your doctor might do to check how your IPF is progressing. They include:

Pulmonary function tests

Pulmonary function tests

There are tests that measure lung function. Your doctor can give you more information. One test your doctor may do is a forced vital capacity (FVC) test:

  • FVC is a test that measures the amount of air you can exhale with force after you inhale as deeply as possible. It measures how well the lungs work
  • A device called a spirometer measures FVC. You take in a big breath and blow out as hard as you can to generate a reading
  • Your treatment team may check your FVC at every visit. If your FVC measurement goes down over time, it may mean that lung function is decreasing and IPF may be progressing
  • Remember that no matter what your test results say, both you and your healthcare team want what’s best for your health. You’re both working toward the same goal
Exercise tests

Exercise tests

Your doctor may have you do physical activities. For example, one type of test looks at how far you can walk in a set amount of time. Another test checks your oxygen saturation while you walk. A third one measures how quickly you recover after walking.

Lung scans

Lung scans

There are scans your doctor can do to see what is happening inside your lungs. One type of scan is called an HRCT scan.

Since everyone is different, your doctor will decide which tests are best for measuring how your IPF is progressing. Ask your doctor about which tests may be right for you.

Take action now and talk to your doctor

Take action now and talk to your doctor

  • Discuss ways to manage your IPF symptoms and to support a healthy lifestyle
  • Make a plan for how to treat IPF and discuss ways to hopefully slow the progression of IPF


Esbriet® (pirfenidone) capsules 267 mg

Preserving more of your lung function by slowing disease progression is essential, and Esbriet may help.


Make a plan with your doctor

Read tips for talking to your doctor about treatment options for your IPF today.