|the air sacs in the lung become inflamed or irritated. Finally, scarring (or fibrosis) begins in the tissue between the air sacs (the interstitium), and |
the lung becomes stiff and it’s difficult to breathe in and out. Breathlessness during exercise (or even simple walking up stairs) can be one of the
first symptoms. A dry cough may also be present. Some interstitial lung diseases improve with medication if treated when inflammation occurs.
Many individuals suffering from ILD may need oxygen therapy as part of their treatment. Prednisone or some other corticosteroid is frequently the
first medication used. Other therapies include: Investigational therapies, Pulmonary Rehab and in advanced cases Lung Transplant.
Just as there is no single cause for lung disease, there is often no single symptom of lung disease. Some conditions may send disease-specific
signals, such as the characteristic wheezing sound made as the asthma sufferer attempts to exhale. Other lung disorders, such as emphysema,
may be evidenced mainly by increasing shortness of breath. Soon, the slightest physical effort, something as simple as reaching for a coffee mug
from a cabinet, can result in a gasping for air. This oxygen deficiency denies the patient many of the simplest pleasures in life. Other forms of lung
disease may be signaled by persistent cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, abnormal sputum production, bloody sputum, or any combination of
these symptoms. When an infectious agent causes a lung disease, there may also be fever and/or chills.
Any suspicion that the lungs might be malfunctioning means that a person should seek medical attention. Unfortunately, many of these symptoms
* The above information is a compilation of information from The American Lung Association (www.lungusa.org) and from The National Jewish Medical and Research
The FACES Foundation
Family And Caregiver Education & Support
|The FACES Foundation
is a 501(c)(3)
Benefiting the many 'FACES' of those dealing with pulmonary illnesses: patients, families and
caregivers, as well as the unsung heroes in the respiratory profession.