Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a genetically transmitted condition. CF affects the glands, damaging many organs including the lungs, the pancreas, the digestive tract and the reproductive system. It causes a thick sticky mucus to be produced, blocking the bronchial tubes and preventing the body's natural enzymes from digesting food. A build up of mucus can make it difficult to clear bacteria and leads to cycles of lung infections and inflammation, which can eventually lead to damage of the lungs.
People with Cystic Fibrosis may have to have surgery for heart and lung transplant, when the condition is persistent. Treatment usually involves daily physiotherapy which helps clear any excess mucus. In children, the condition often resembles asthma.
It is the most common genetic disease in Ireland, with 1 in 20 people carrying the CF gene.