Interstitial Lung Disease
Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)
Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a
group of conditions that cause inflammation and scarring around the tiny air sacs
in the lungs. The changes make it hard to take in oxygen.
Examples of ILD include these
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
- Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
Inside your lungs
When you breathe, air travels in
and out of your lungs through the windpipe (trachea), airways (bronchi), and branching
airways (bronchioles). Oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are exchanged in the tiny
air sacs (alveoli). Oxygen passes from the alveoli to the blood vessels through the
tissue called interstitium. The blood vessels then carry oxygen-rich blood to the
of your body. Carbon dioxide moves back from the blood vessels to the alveoli. You
breathe it out.
How lungs become damaged
With ILD, the lungs
have inflammation and scarring around the alveoli. The changes make it hard to take
Causes of ILD
In most cases, ILD has no known
cause. Some known causes include:
Dust from asbestos or silica,
coal dust, gases, fumes, or poisons
Certain lung infections
Connective tissue disease,
such as scleroderma, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis
Treatment and healthcare providers for
Treatment may include:
- Breathing methods
- In some cases, you may need a lung transplant
Your healthcare team may
Primary care provider. This
could be your family doctor or internist.
Pulmonologist. This is a
doctor who specializes in treating lung problems.
Respiratory therapist. This
person gives treatment and support for people with lung disease.
Social worker. This person
helps with your daily needs and family life, accessing community resources,
counseling services, and stress management.