Bernie Williams, former New York Yankee baseball player and current jazz musician, discusses the need for physicians to be aware of early signs and symptoms of various interstitial lung diseases, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

IPF is a chronic, progressive, fibrosing lung disease with few treatment options and a poor prognosis. Common symptoms of IPF include shortness of breath and difficulty performing daily activities, such as walking and talking. 

As Williams explains, he became aware of IPF as a result of his father becoming diagnosed with this condition. However, by the time his father had been diagnosed, he had progressed to a point where very little could be done to manage the disease and he passed away shortly thereafter. Williams has partnered with Boehringer Ingelheim to develop the Tune in To Lung Health campaign in order to raise awareness of IPF and other interstitial lung diseases – including the need to have patients diagnosed early so that they can be properly managed. 

Some common symptoms that may indicate a person has an interstitial lung disease include:

  • Chest pain
  • Chest tightness
  • Clubbing of the fingertips or toes
  • Dry cough
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Symptoms triggered by pollution, pets, or allergens
  • Unexplained weight loss

To learn more about IPF and other rare lung diseases, visit