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Interstitial Lung Disease

Pulmonology, Sleep Medicine & Internal Medicine located in Bearden, Farragut, Knoxville, Oak Ridge, Athens, and Johnson City, TN

Interstitial Lung Disease services offered in Bearden, Farragut, Knoxville, Oak Ridge, Athens and Johnson City, TN

If you develop symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, or a dry cough, it’s crucial to identify the underlying cause. With treatment, you can relieve uncomfortable side effects and live a more active lifestyle. At StatCare, with three locations in Knoxville and others in Oak Ridge and Athens, Tennessee, the lung specialists boast years of experience diagnosing and treating interstitial lung disease (ILD). To receive treatment, call the nearest office to speak with a staff member or use the online booking feature today.

Interstitial Lung Disease Q&A

What is interstitial lung disease (ILD)?

Interstitial lung disease (ILD) refers to over 200 conditions characterized by lung inflammation and scarring. ILD damages the alveoli – small air sacs in your lungs. Over time, the damage worsens, affecting your ability to breathe.

Does interstitial lung disease (ILD) present symptoms?

Symptoms of interstitial lung disease (ILD) include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry cough
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain

ILD develops slowly. At first, the symptoms are mild, but they progressively worsen over time.

Who is at risk of developing interstitial lung disease (ILD)?

Anyone can develop interstitial lung disease, but several factors may increase your risk, including:

  • Being 70 or older 
  • Smoking
  • Having an underlying medical condition, like hepatitis C or pneumonia
  • Working around substances that irritate the lungs, like asbestos or silica

You’re also more likely to develop ILD if you’ve had chest radiation to treat cancer.

How is interstitial lung disease diagnosed?

To diagnose interstitial lung disease, your StatCare provider reviews your medical records and asks about your lifestyle, including the type of work you do, if you take any prescription medication, and if any of your family members have connective tissue diseases.

Next, your provider completes a physical exam. They listen to your heart and respiratory rate and order pulmonary function testing to see how well your lungs work. Then, they order imaging tests, like X-rays, a CT scan, or bronchoscopy to get a better look at your lungs and airways.

How is interstitial lung disease treated?

There’s no cure for interstitial lung disease, but there are various treatments that can reduce flare-ups and improve your quality of life. The StatCare team might recommend:

  • Corticosteroids, to reduce inflammation
  • Anti-fibrotic or cytotoxic drugs to prevent scarring
  • Biologic drugs that treat autoimmune disease
  • Treatment for acid reflux (chronic heartburn can exacerbate the condition)
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation

If your symptoms are severe, you might benefit from a lung transplant. 

Is there any way to prevent interstitial lung disease (ILD)?

There’s no way to prevent ILD entirely, but there are things you can do to reduce your risk. StatCare recommends quitting smoking and wearing a respirator if you work around potentially harmful substances. If you’ve been diagnosed with a connective tissue disease, talk with your provider about taking steps to manage it.

Make an appointment at StatCare to receive treatment for interstitial lung disease (ILD). Call the nearest office to speak with a staff member or use the online booking feature today.

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