Interstitial lung disease (ILD) refers to a group of chronic lung conditions that affect the tissue and space around the air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs. ILD is characterized by inflammation and scarring (fibrosis) of the interstitial tissue, which is the tissue that surrounds the air sacs and the blood vessels in the lungs. This can make it difficult for the lungs to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide, leading to breathing problems and decreased oxygen levels in the blood.

There are many different types of ILD, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), sarcoidosis, and respiratory bronchiolitis-associated interstitial lung disease (RB-ILD). The most common symptoms of ILD are shortness of breath, cough, and fatigue. Other symptoms may include weight loss, fever, and joint pain.

ILD can be diagnosed through a combination of physical examination, imaging tests (such as CT scans or X-rays), lung function tests, and biopsies. There is no cure for ILD, and treatment is focused on managing symptoms and slowing the progression of the disease. This may include medications, oxygen therapy, rehabilitation, and in some cases, lung transplantation. It is important to see a healthcare provider if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of ILD.

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