Interstitial lung disease isn’t a single condition. The term covers many disorders that cause progressive scarring of the lung tissue. These scars adversely affect your lung function and limit the volume of oxygen you can absorb.
Most types of interstitial lung disease cause shortness of breath when you’re resting, which worsens if you exercise. A dry cough is another common symptom.
There are many potential causes of interstitial lung disease. Some common ones include:
Some people who develop interstitial lung disease don’t have an identifiable cause. These conditions are called idiopathic interstitial pneumonias. The most serious of these is idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Diagnosing interstitial lung disease can be challenging, as your symptoms could be due to many other conditions. Dr. Weinberg performs a thorough physical exam before selecting the most appropriate diagnostic tests and procedures. These might include:
Dr. Weinberg might recommend a biopsy of the lung to diagnose interstitial lung disease. A bronchoscope (a slender, flexible instrument that goes down your windpipe into your lungs) is used to extract a small lung tissue sample for laboratory analysis.
The scarring caused by interstitial lung disease is typically incurable, and the disease continues to worsen over time. However, Dr. Weinberg offers a range of therapies that reduce your symptoms, slow the disease’s progression and improve your quality of life.
The personalized treatment plan that Dr. Weinberg creates for you could include treatments such as:
If you develop interstitial lung disease symptoms or you’re looking for better treatments, call Barry J Weinberg, MD, today or book an appointment online.