Interstitial Lung Disease is a term used to define disorders that cause fibrosis/scarring of the lungs. The scarring leads to difficulty in breathing. ILD includes:
- Hypersensitivity Pneumonia
- Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
ILD lung disease is usually caused by long term exposure to hazardous chemicals, medications and as an effect of certain medical treatments. Lung damage from ILD is however irreversible and the patient is recommended for a lung transplant in progressive cases.
Interstitial Lung Disease Symptoms
The primary symptoms involve:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath – at the state of rest/exertion
Interstitial Lung Disease Causes
The body heals the damage to the lungs by producing the right amount of tissues. However, in case if ILD the repair process becomes complicated and the tissues around air scars become thickened and scarred. Thus, making it difficult for oxygen to pass into the bloodstream. This is mainly caused by prolonged exposure to toxic environmental factors:
- Asbestos Fibres
- Silica Dust
- Grain Dust
- Bird and Animal droppings
- Indoor Hot tubs
- Radiation Treatments
Other Risk Factors:
Lung diseases occurred at an early stage of life can still be treated with the proper Diagnosis and Pulmonology Expert Treatment. However, there are factors that make you more susceptible to interstitial lung disease. This includes:
- Prolonged exposure to environmental toxins: Usually for people working in mining, farming, or construction industry. The pollutants damage the lungs, thus increasing ILD lung disease.
- Age: ILD is more likely to affect adults.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease: Indigestion or uncontrolled acid reflux is a cause of increased risk
- Smoking: With people having a history of smoking, the condition gets worse.
- Radiation and Chemotherapy: Having radiation treatments on the chest, while having chemotherapy drugs makes you more vulnerable to develop ILD lung disease.
Interstitial lung disease Diagnosis
- Blood Test: To detect proteins, antibodies and other markers that contribute tothe autoimmune system.
- Imaging Test
- CT Scan: To determine the extent of lung damage
- Echocardiogram: A sonogram of heart to evaluate the pressure at the right side of the heart
- Pulmonary Function Test
- Lung Tissue analysis
Interstitial Lung Disease Treatment
As mentioned above, most of the Interstitial Lung damage is permanent and can not be reversed. Hence, the only way out is to undergo a Lung transplant. This is followed by a medication course, until your doctor advice.
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