A NEW support group has been set up to assist Kerry patients who are living with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). The support group, which meets on a monthly basis at Tralee's Carlton Hotel is currently seeking new members and has issued a call for anyone suffering from the condition across the county to get in touch.
Michael Horan, one of the group's founders said the group remains small at this stage but he's aware of many other people living with IPF in Kerry.
"The group was only started recently and there are a small number of us involved but I know there's many more people out there with IPF and I'd encourage them to get in touch with us," he said.
IPF generally affects people over the age of 50 and is more common in men than women. Pulmonary fibrosis refers to scarring in the lungs and as the cause is unknown, this is termed 'idiopathic'. Around 120 Irish people die as a result of the condition every year.
The most common symptom of IPF is breathlessness, particularly during exercise. At first, taken on its own, this symptom can be attributed to heart failure, asthma or even just middle/old age. Another major symptom of IPF is a dry cough that gets progressively worse. Other symptoms can include weight loss, fatigue, painful joints and painful hands and fingers that are susceptible to the cold.
If you would like to get in touch with the group you can call Michael at 087-1336406 or Adrian at 064 6632498.