Interstitial Lung Disease is a medical term used to describe a group of diseases that cause progressive scarring of the lung tissue between and supporting air sacs. The scarring may cause progressive lung stiffness, which eventually affects your breathing ability and oxygen content in blood stream. Symptoms are:
• Dry cough
• Shortness of breath at rest or exertion
HOW IS INTERSTITIAL LUNG DISEASE DIAGNOSED?
Pulmonologists may conduct a complete physical examination and evaluate your symptoms. Identifying the causes of Interstitial Lung Disease is a challenge. Some diagnostic tests are chest X-rays, CT scan, Echocardiogram. Pulmonary function is evaluated through oximetry and spirometry. In some cases lung tissue may be taken for biopsy.
HOW IS INTERSTITIAL LUNG DISEASE TREATED?
Once the lung scarring initiates, it is often irreversible. There is hence no complete treatment. Medications can be prescribed to delay the damage to the lungs. Lung transplant can be an option to consider for people whose condition continues to deteriorate even when consuming medications.
DID YOU KNOW?
Bacteria, viruses, and fungi are known to cause interstitial pneumonias. Regular exposures to inhaled irritants at work or during hobbies can also cause some interstitial lung disease. These irritants include:
• Silica dust
• Coal dust, or various other metal dusts from working in mining
• Grain dust from farming
• Bird proteins (such as from exotic birds, chickens, or pigeons)