Over 100 individual disorders fall under the category of interstitial lung disease, explains the Cleveland Clinic. Common types include asbestos-related pulmonary disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.
Causes of ILD lung disease include repeated exposure to harmful fumes or substances, cigarette smoking, bacterial or viral infections, radiation and medicinal treatments like chemotherapy, reports the Mayo Clinic. Diseases like scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus can also cause ILD.
Symptoms of ILD lung disease typically worsen with time, according to the Mayo Clinic. Some signs of the disease are shortness of breath, labored breathing, a persistent dry cough, chest pain, wheezing and fingernails that curve over the tops of your fingers.
With time, ILD can develop into life-threatening complications like low-blood oxygen, high blood pressure in your lungs and heart failure, explains the Mayo Clinic. In the late stages of the disease, the lungs may completely fail, usually resulting in death.
There is no cure for ILD lung disease, but doctors often prescribe treatment like oxygen therapy, corticosteroid drugs to reduce lung inflammation and medications like bosentan and pirfenidone to help prevent scarring, reports the Mayo Clinic.