Interstitial Lung Disease and Pulmonary Fibrosis

What are interstitial lung disease and pulmonary fibrosis?

Pulmonary Fibrosis is a condition causing the lungs to react to irritation (e.g. cigarette smoking, environmental pollutants, certain medications or diseases) by scarring. The sacs of the lungs are eventually replaced by thicker fibrotic tissue which prevents the lungs’ ability to transfer adequate oxygen into the bloodstream.

Interstitial Lung Disease encompasses many different diseases, often accompanied by similar fibrotic growth as the specific disease progresses.


Evidence suggests that Pulmonary Fibrosis is a hereditary condition.

Interstitial Lung Disease may be caused by inhaled substances, medications, diseases of the connective tissue, infection or cancerous growth.


Both conditions may exhibit as difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath, dry cough, chest pain, fatigue and rapid weight loss.


Treatment of Pulmonary Fibrosis focuses on relieving symptoms but there is no cure for this progressive disease. Drugs designed to reduce inflammation have only been successful in reducing the amount of fibrotic tissue being generated.

The treatment of Interstitial Lung Disease varies, and is suited to the individual case. Certain patients may respond to corticosteroids or immunosuppressant treatment.