Interstitial Lung Disease
See us if you have any of these ILD symptoms:
Shortness of breath at rest or after exertion, dry cough
Interstitial lung disease is the name of a group of diseases, most of which cause progressive scarring of lung tissue. The scarring eventually affects your ability to breathe and your lungs’ ability to get enough oxygen into your bloodstream. The disease seems to occur when a small injury to your lungs triggers an abnormal healing process that produces too much scar tissue around the air sacs (alveoli). This
Interstitial lung disease can be caused by exposure to hazardous materials including asbestos, some types of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, drugs, and even some types of medical treatments. Most cases are the result of unknown causes.
Some treatments can temporarily improve symptoms, slow the disease’s progress, or help improve quality of life, but treatment will not always be effective in stopping the ultimate progression of the disease. These treatments include:
- Corticosteroid medications – used in combination with other drugs that suppress the immune system, this combination can slow and even stabilize disease progression
- Medications to slow idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis – pulmonary fibrosis is a type of Interstitial lung disease and can be slowed by a couple of different medications, which can have significant side effects. Your PAR lung specialist will discuss these side effects with you.
- Medications that reduce stomach acid – Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) affects the majority of people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and is associated with worsening lung damage.
- Oxygen therapy – oxygen won’t stop lung damage, but it can improve quality of life by:
- making breathing and exercise easier
- prevent/lessen complications from low blood oxygen levels
- reduce blood pressure in the right side of your heart
- improve your sleep and sense of well-being
- Pulmonary rehabilitation – the goal of PR is to help people with interstitial lung disease live full and satisfying lives. Most programs focus on
- physical exercise that improves your endurance
- breathing techniques that improve lung efficiency
- emotional support
- nutritional counseling
- Surgery – lung transplantation surgery can be an option for some people with severe interstitial lung disease who haven’t benefitted from other treatment options.
- Clinical trials – these trials are used to test experimental treatments. While the results can be mixed, they can also lead to scientific breakthroughs.
The doctors at PAR are lung specialists and specially-trained to diagnose your interstitial lung disease and help you find the best course of treatment, including promising clinical trials.