What is Interstitial lung disease (ILD)?
Interstitial lung disease is a long-term (chronic) lung disease. It happens because of damage between the air sacs in the lung. The damage scars the lung and causes breathing problems.
People with interstitial lung disease get breathless during exercise and may have a dry cough. These problems may get worse slowly or very quickly.
What causes ILD?
Interstitial lung disease can be caused by breathing in dust from asbestos ,silica, infections , medicines.Joint and skin disease etc Sometimes a cause may not be found and it is called Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis( IPF).
How is it Diagnosed?
Your doctor may ask for an initial Chest Xray followed by a highly specific CT scan called HRCT chest for diagnosis. Other tests to rule out the causes of illness and Spirometry/ li=ung function testing is also an integral part of diagnosis.
Is it Treatable?
ILD caused secondary to known causes can be treated/ controlled by controlling the primary problem. Corticosteroids can sometimes reduce the swelling of lung tissue and prevent more damage. Oxygen treatment may help your condition.
For patients with IPF, successful cure is still not available, However, drugs to stabilize / slow down the disease may be prescribed based on the severity of illness.
When should you call for help?
Call your doctor or seek immediate medical care if:
- Your shortness of breath gets worse.
- You cough up blood.
- You have severe chest pain