Interstitial Lung Disease
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Interstitial lung disease is the name of a group of similar diseases that cause scarring of the lungs, called fibrosis.
Anyone, including adults of all ages and children, can get interstitial lung disease. Our pulmonary experts can help you improve your quality of life and manage this condition.
In many cases, the cause is unknown, such as in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. But there are factors that can increase your risk of getting interstitial lung disease, including:
- Certain medications or medical treatments like radiation or chemotherapy
- Exposure to hazardous materials, such as asbestos
- Autoimmune disorders such as sarcoidosis or rheumatoid arthritis
- Shortness of breath
- Dry cough
- Chest discomfort
- Occasional weight loss
In most cases, by the time symptoms appear lung damage has already occurred. It is important to see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment because severe cases that are left untreated can lead to life-threatening complications like high pressure in lung vessels (pulmonary hypertension), heart failure or respiratory failure.
Treatments vary based on the type of interstitial lung disease and how severe it is. The lung damage is often irreversible and worsens over time, so treatment generally focuses on relieving symptoms, improving quality of life and slowing down the progression of the disease.
Pulmonary rehabilitation can help improve daily life by teaching patients techniques to improve lung efficiency, improve physical endurance and offer emotional support.
Patients with extreme cases may be candidates for a lung transplant.
Call 240-677-3000 to schedule an appointment.