Interstitial Lung Disease(ILD) is a group of lung conditions that affect the interstitium. It causes inflammation, fluid retention, and fibrosis of the lungs. The conditions involve shortness of breathing, dry cough, chest discomfort, fatigue. ILD causes stiffness in the lungs. The conditions may differ from mild to severe.

Types of Interstitial Lung Disease

The most common type of disorder is idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. There are almost  200 types of Interstitial lung disease that include:

  •  Chronic Silicosis: is a breathing disease that may cause due to breathing in silica dust.
  • Siderosis: occurs from inhaling iron from welding.
  • Asbestosis: inflammation of the lungs that may cause inhaling asbestos fibers.
  • Familial Pulmonary Fibrosis: this may affect the members of the same family by developing scar tissues.
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis: inflammation that may cause by breathing in allergic elements.

Symptoms of Interstitial Lung Disease

The common symptom that may occur during ILd is shortage of oxygen in the blood. The breathlessness is often followed by dry cough and weight loss. The condition gets worsen over time. Other symptoms may include:

Causes of Interstitial Lung Disease

The cause of interstitial lung disease can be anything. It can be developed through certain medical use, exposure to toxic elements, hazardous environmental conditions may also develop ILD in the patients. This very condition is termed Idiopathic interstitial lung disease. The risk factors may develop into three sections include:

  • Autoimmune Disorders:

Autoimmune diseases that may develop and affect the lungs include:

  • Scleroderma: the group of diseases that affect the skin. The skin and the connective tissue become thicken and tighten.
  • Lupus: the immune system damages the tissues and also may affect joints, skin, and other organs.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: the immune system may damage joints, lungs, and other organs of the body.
  • Vasculitis: it damages the blood vessel in the body,
  • Polymyositis: it develops irritation in the muscles.
  • Environmental Hazards and Exposure to Toxics Elements

Any exposure to the elements that can bother lungs and airways passage may cause ILD, whether it is the pollutants in the workplace or toxic elements. The elements include:

  • Asbestos fibers
  • Animal protein
  • Silica dust
  • Coal dust
  • Mold
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Medications
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Chemotherapy drugs like bleomycin
  • Heart medicines

Complications in Interstitial Lung Disease

  • Respiratory Failure: may occur when the lungs unable to get enough oxygen into the blood. Carbon-di-oxide may damage the tissues and organs and can experience trouble breathing, fatigue. Heart failure occurs due to respiratory failure.
  • Pulmonary Hypertension: when the blood pressure increases within the pulmonary arteries and lungs.
  • Right Ventricle Heart Failure(Cor Pulmonale): when the right ventricle becomes enlarged and hard to pump blood to the lungs and stops working, eventually it may fail due to the unusual strain.


While diagnosing interstitial lung disease(ILD) doctors may prescribe imaging tests that include:

  • Chest x-rays
  • CT scan
  • High-resolution CT scan
  • Lung-function test
  • Lung biopsy

A lung biopsy can be done include

  • Bronchoscopy
  • Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery
  • Open lung biopsy

Treatment of Interstitial Lung Disease

The treatment of  interstitial lung disease may depend on the types of ILD

Antibiotics:  interstitial pneumonia may cause by fungus is treated by antifungal drugs.

Corticosteroids: In some types of ILD, irritation in the lungs may damage the lungs. Corticosteroids slow the immune system and reduce the irritation in the lungs.

Inhaled Oxygen: interstitial lung disease may reduce the blood level in oxygen. Inhaling oxygen may help this condition. Regularly inhaling protects the heart from damage.

Lung Transplant: lung transplant is done if advanced ILD may cause severe damage in the lungs.

Drugs that are used during interstitial lung disease including:

  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Cyclosporine
  • Nintedanib

Cura Multispeciality Hospital’s Pulmonology Department

The pulmonology department deals with respiratory treatment. A person who is suffering from severe respiratory illness like dry cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, weight loss should immediately visit the doctor for a diagnosis. We at Cura hospital have qualified and highly experienced doctors who have committed themselves to the comfort of the patients.

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Namaste, I am Carol, your health assistant from Cura Hospitals, to answer your queries
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