Sue was an avid runner, never missing an opportunity to hit the trails. However, one day, she started to feel short of breath and have a persistent dry cough. After consulting her doctor, Sue was shocked to learn that she had a condition called Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD).
So what exactly is ILD? We explore what it is here in this article, and let you in on what it is, the different kinds, and how to treat and live with this.
What is Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)?
Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a group of lung disorders that cause scarring in the interstitium. This is the tissue surrounding the air sacs in the lungs. This can lead to difficulties in breathing and decreased oxygen flow to the body.
A variety of factors can cause ILD. This includes environmental and occupational exposures, infections, and certain medications.
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)
This chronic and progressive lung disease causes scarring in the lungs. This makes it difficult for the lungs to function. This leads to difficulty breathing and less oxygen flow in the body.
The cause is unknown, but it usually affects older adults. Symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing, and fatigue.
This is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects multiple organs in the body. The most common are the lungs, skin, and lymph nodes. The formation of granulomas can cause scarring and damage to affected organs.
The cause is unknown and can affect people of any age, race, or gender. Symptoms can vary depending on the organs affected.
This is a chronic lung disease caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. Asbestos is a fibrous mineral used in different products before its health risks were understood.
When inhaled, they can get trapped in the lungs and cause scarring. This can lead to difficulty breathing and decreased oxygen flow to the body.
Other Types of ILD
There are many other types of ILD. This includes hypersensitivity pneumonitis, eosinophilic pneumonia, and chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
These are usually caused by exposure to environmental or occupational irritants.
Diagnosis and Treatment of ILD
ILD is typically diagnosed through a biopsy, in which a small sample of lung tissue is removed and examined under a microscope, which may also be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment for ILD depends on the specific type of ILD and the severity of the condition. It may include medications such as Ofev (Ofev discount here) to reduce inflammation and improve lung function, oxygen therapy, and pulmonary rehabilitation.
Surgery may sometimes be necessary to remove scar tissue or damaged tissue from the lungs.
Understanding Interstitial Lung Disease
Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD or diffuse parenchymal lung disease) is a condition characterized by inflammation in the lung tissue. It can cause breathing problems and, in advanced cases, can lead to tissue scarring and permanent damage, as we’ve discussed above.
It is important to get a diagnosis early, have an appropriate and customized management plan, and speak to a specialist about the next steps for your particular ILD. If you think you may have ILD, you should ask your doctor for a referral to a respiratory specialist.
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