Interstitial lung disease is a term used to describe an array of respiratory disorders that cause your lung tissue to scar. Left unmanaged, interstitial lung disease affects your ability to breathe and prevents adequate amounts of oxygen from entering your bloodstream.
What are the symptoms of interstitial lung disease?
Interstitial lung disease affects everyone the same way. The two most common symptoms it presents are shortness of breath and a dry, raspy cough.
By the time interstitial lung disease presents symptoms, it’s already done permanent damage. However, if you experience trouble breathing, it’s important to schedule an appointment. The sooner you receive an accurate diagnosis, the easier it is to treat.
How is interstitial lung disease diagnosed?
Interstitial lung disease isn’t always easy to diagnose because its symptoms mimic an array of other respiratory conditions. To pinpoint the source of your discomfort, Dr. Chug reviews your medical history, asks you questions about your symptoms, and does a physical exam. He might also order laboratory tests to detect markers of an autoimmune disease or order diagnostic imaging, such as a CT scan, to determine the extent of scarring and lung damage.
How is interstitial lung disease treated?
Unfortunately, there’s no way to reverse the damage interstitial lung disease causes. However, some treatments may slow the disease’s progression and ease your symptoms.
Depending on the severity of your interstitial lung disease, the team might recommend corticosteroid medications, oxygen therapy, or pulmonary rehabilitation. In severe instances, a surgical operation like a lung transplant may be necessary.