This article is written to shed some light on Interstitial Lung Disease along with the Interstitial Lung Disease Types. Many are unaware of the disease and the dangers that come with it. Raising awareness of this issue is not only necessary, but also important. More so because of the progressive nature of this disease and the fact that more often than not, the symptoms such as shortness of breath and fatigue go by unnoticed – when these symptoms appear, due to their lack of awareness or knowledge about interstitial lung disease, most people are so quick to shrug it off thinking the source of their problem is either from their lack of sleep or being out of shape. In fact, it’s not that simple.
Interstitial lung disease: the silent killer?
Pulmonologists and doctors alike use the term “Interstitial lung disease” to refer to a group of pulmonary diseases that are caused by a damaged or scarred connective tissues – which is widely known as interstitium. Healthy interstitium is an incredibly thin film within the air sacs. However, the interstitium of those who suffer from interstitial lung disease is thickened and stiff. Lungs find it difficult to pass through oxygen with this condition which is why sufferers are said to have life expectancy of only 3 to 5 years.
Types of Interstitial lung disease
Interstitial lung disease, being a broad term to refer to a group of pulmonary diseases, comes with a few types. While some of the causes of scarring and inflammation is not yet known, the pulmonary diseases listed under interstitial lung disease classification have one thing in common: a damaged interstitium. Below is a list of types of interstitial lung disease:
Specified interstitial lung disease:
– Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
A thick scar tissue slows down the flow of oxygen to the bloodstream, the causes of this scar is unknown.
– Interstitial pneumonia
The most common causes of this type of ILD is mycoplasma pneumonia bacteria that enters and infects the interstitium.
Unspecified interstitial lung disease
– Acute interstitial pneumonitis
The cause of this type of ILD is unknown – however, due to the severity and progressiveness of this disease, the only cure is lung transplant.
– Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
Inhaling irritants such as mold and dust over a period of time is the most common cause of this type of ILD.
– Cryptogenic organizing pneumonia
The last on this Interstitial Lung Disease Types article may seem like pneumonia, the difference lies in the fact that there’s no infection.