Interstitial lung disease of ILD is usually referred to a wide range of growing lung illnesses identifiable by the inflammation and scarring of the lungs. These lung diseases disturb the lace-like network tissues called interstitium supporting the airsacs. The interstitium is loaded with small blood vessels that make way for the exchange of gas between the blood and lungs. Due to its small size, it cannot be sighted even with an x-ray or CT scan.
Types of ILD
There are various types of diseases identified as ILD while some are short-term, others are incurable and permanent. Some types of ILD are listed below:
This is when the interstitium of the lungs gets infected by bacteria, viruses or fungi. A bacteria named Mycoplasma pneumonia is the most common bacteria known to cause interstitial pneumonia.
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
This is a type of ILD where the interstitium is scarred. The reason or root cause of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is not known.
Nonspecific Interstitial Pneumonitis
This disorder normally exists when a person is afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma or other autoimmune ailments.
This disorder is induced by constantly inhaling dust, mold or other sources that irritate the airways.
Cryptogenic Organizing Pneumonia
This is another word for bronchitis obliterans creating pneumonia. It is an interstitial lung disease like pneumonia that happens in the nonappearance of infection.
Acute Interstitial Pneumonitis
This is a serious type of ILD that happens suddenly and usually needs emergency life support.
Desquamative Interstitial Pneumonitis
This is generally difficult to diagnose and somewhat caused by long-term smoking.
This disorder that ends up in ILD is followed by swollen lymph nodes and sometimes involving the heart, skin, and nerves.
This disorder is caused by exposure to asbestosis
Symptoms of Interstitial Lung Disease
The most common symptoms of ILD are shortness of breath upon exertion and a dry, unproductive cough. Mucus production, wheezing, and blood in the mucus called hemoptysis are the other symptoms that help a person to identify the disease. Those with conspicuous non-respiratory symptoms such as pain in joint and muscle or tightness and thickening of the skin, toes, and fingers may have interstitial lung disease due to a hidden connective tissue disease.
Treatment for Interstitial Lung Disease
The type of treatment for ILD is according to the seriousness of the ailment and hidden reasons.
Management of medication
The main aim of healing medication is to improve inflammation, breathlessness and overcome an over-active immune system.
Some of the frequently used medications to treat ILD are:
- Oral steroids which could reduce lung inflammation and improve symptoms.
- Mycophenolate could be used to decrease the quantity of steroids requirement. It also blocks the immune system from attacking cells in the body that cause fibrosis.
- Azathioprine is also another drug that decreases the steroid requirement.
- Cyclophosphamide is generally used when steroid treatment is not effective or not possible.
- Pirfenidone is a drug that has anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic elements that could help slow progression of the disease in some people ailing with Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
- Nintedanib is a drug that prevents pathways that may lead to fibrosis and reduces the progression of the disease in people ailing with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Oxygen Therapy is a necessity for some people ailing with IDL as they have low levels of oxygen in their blood and this therapy makes the blood oxygen levels better with less strain on the heart and lungs and improve feeling tired and breathless.
Follow a strict routine designed to improve fitness in people with breathing issues. Education, exercise training, nutritional counseling and breathing techniques are some of the standard programs.
When the standard medical treatment does not work in patients with the advanced disease, a lung transplant is an alternative option. This could increase survival rate in some patients and improve quality of life