ILD or Interstitial Lung Disease refers to large group of lung disorders most of which causes progressive scaring of lung tissue .The scaring associated with ILD eventually affects your ability to breathe and get enough oxygen into your blood stream.
Interstitial lung disease seems to occur when an injury to your lungs triggers an abnormal healing response. Ordinarily, your body generates just the right amount of tissue to repair damage. In ILD, the repair process goes awry and the tissue around the air sacs (alveoli) becomes scarred and thickened. This makes it more difficult for oxygen to pass into your blood stream.
Occupational and environmental factors
Long-term exposure to a number of toxins and pollutants can damage your lungs. These may include:
- Silica dust
- Asbestos fibers
- Grain dust
- Bird and animal droppings
Many drugs can damage your lungs, especially:
- Chemotherapy drugs. Drugs designed to kill cancer cells, such as methotrexate (Trexall) and cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan).
- Heart medications. Some drugs used to treat irregular heartbeats, such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Nexterone, Pacerone) or propranolol (Inderal, Inderide, Innopran).
- Some antibiotics. Nitrofurantoin (Macrobid, Macrodantin, others) and sulfasalazine (Azulfidine).
Lung damage can also result from:
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Rheumatoid arthritis
The list of substances and conditions that can lead to interstitial lung disease is long. Disorders without a known cause are grouped together under the label Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis or Idiopathic Interstitial Lung Disease. Depending upon the location, severity, and pattern of lung involvement, the idiopathic interstitial lung diseases have been further subdivided into categories. Examples of different types of idiopathic interstitial lung disease include:
- usual interstitial pneumonitis (UIP),
- bronchiolitis obliterans with organizing pneumonia (BOOP),
- lymphocytic interstitial pneumonitis (LIP), and
- desquamative interstitial pneumonitis (DIP)
Factors that may make you more susceptible to interstitial lung disease include:
- Age. ILD is much more likely to affect adults, although infants and children sometimes develop the disorder.
- Exposure to occupational and environmental toxins.
- Radiation and chemotherapy.
- Oxygen. Continually inhaling very high levels of therapeutic oxygen for more than 48 hours at times can harm the lungs. Please consult your doctor about your requirement of O2 as very patient’s need is different.
Interstitial lung disease can lead to a series of life-threatening complications, including:
High blood pressure in your lungs (pulmonary hypertension) This condition affects only the arteries in your lungs. Pulmonary hypertension is a serious illness that becomes progressively worse.
Right-sided heart failure (cor pulmonale). This serious condition occurs when your heart’s lower right chamber (right ventricle) — which is less muscular than the left .
Respiratory failure. Respiratory failure occurs when severely low blood oxygen levels along with rising pressures in the pulmonary arteries and the right ventricle cause heart failure.