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Interstitial Lung Diseases

Summary

Interstitial lung disease is the name for a large group of diseases that inflame or scar the lungs. The inflammation and scarring make it hard to get enough oxygen. The scarring is called pulmonary fibrosis.

Breathing in dust or other particles in the air is responsible for some types of interstitial lung diseases. Specific types include

  • Black lung disease among coal miners, from inhaling coal dust
  • Farmer's lung, from inhaling farm dust
  • Asbestosis, from inhaling asbestos fibers
  • Siderosis, from inhaling iron from mines or welding fumes
  • Silicosis, from inhaling silica dust

Other causes include autoimmune diseases or occupational exposures to molds, gases, or fumes. Some types of interstitial lung disease have no known cause.

Treatment depends on the type of exposure and the stage of the disease. It may involve medicines, oxygen therapy, or a lung transplant in severe cases.

Start Here

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (National Jewish Health)
  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in

Diagnosis and Tests

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
  • (American Thoracic Society) - PDF
  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • (American Lung Association)
  • (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) - PDF

Treatments and Therapies

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
  • (National Jewish Health)

Living With

Related Issues

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (National Farm Medicine Center) - PDF
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - PDF Also in
  • (Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards)
  • (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) - PDF

Specifics

  • (National Jewish Health)
  • (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
  • (Virginia Cooperative Extension)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
  • (Merck & Co., Inc.) Also in
  • (American Lung Association)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) - PDF Also in

Genetics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

Find an Expert

  • (American Lung Association)
  • From the National Institutes of Health

Children

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

Patient Handouts

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