What is it?

Interstitial lung disease refers to a group of about 100 chronic lung disorders characterized by inflammation and scarring that make it hard for the lungs to get enough oxygen. The scarring is called pulmonary fibrosis.

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Signs & symptoms

It is possible for the disease to progress gradually or rapidly. Symptoms range from very mild to moderate to very severe for people with it. It may take a long time for the condition to change or it may change quickly.
It is impossible to predict how the disease will progress. As it progresses, lung tissue thickens and becomes stiff, making breathing difficult.
Breathing difficulties, especially when active.
Dry, hacking cough that does not produce phlegm.
Loss of appetite
Unexplained weight loss
Discomfort in the chest
Labored breathing, which may be fast and shallow
Bleeding in the lungs
Extreme tiredness


A healthcare provider may request pulmonary function tests in addition to a complete medical history and physical exam. The purpose of these tests is to measure the lungs' ability to move air into and out of them.

CT scan

Lung biopsy


Treatment will vary depending on the cause. There is no cure for some interstitial lung diseases. Treatment aims to prevent further lung scarring, manage symptoms, and keep you active and healthy. It is not possible to fix lung scarring that has already occurred through treatment.
Among the treatments available are:
Transplantation of the lung
Corticosteroids are used to reduce inflammation, while cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) suppresses the immune system.
Portable oxygen therapy
Pulmonary rehab

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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