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Interstitial Lung Disorders

What are Interstitial Lung Disorders?

Interstitial lung diseases refer to 180 types of lung diseases. These diseases progress in different ways in each patient. While it progresses mildly in some people, it progresses more severely in others.

Severe interstitial lung diseases can progress to the point of death. Interstitium refers to the space between cells in tissues. In interstitial lung diseases, inflammation in the interstitium may progress to fibrosis, causing thickening and hardening of the spongy tissue of the lung. Interstitial lung diseases, which occur due to various reasons, may occur due to occupational factors, radiation, environmental factors, systemic diseases affecting the lung, some drugs and some genetic diseases. But the connection point that holds many different forms of this disease together is that it starts with inflammation.

What Are the Types of Interstitial Lung Disorders? 

The most common interstitial lung diseases; Sarcoidosis: The cause of this disease, which affects women younger than men, is not fully known. Bronchiolitis: It occurs due to inflammation of the small airways. It is one of the most common interstitial lung diseases and is very risky. Vasculitis: It is one of the most common lung diseases and the other name of this disease is capillary inflammation. Idiopathic Lung Fibrosis: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic disease that does not occur due to infection, and it is known that patients have a chance to survive for 4-5 years after the disease begins to show symptoms. Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis: Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis, which is caused by the accumulation of certain substances in the air sacs called alveoli, is often seen in middle-aged men. This disease can progress more over time, but it can also go away on its own. 

What Are the Symptoms of Interstitial Lung Disorders?

Feeling of breathlessness, especially during or after physical activity Dry cough Wheezing, crowing Chest pain Chest discomfort Fatigue and weakness Weight loss Loss of appetite Lung bleeding Rapid breathing Shortness of breath Growth retardation What are the Causes of Interstitial Lung Disorders? Because interstitial lung disease has many causes, it can be difficult to identify the cause of the initial injury to the lung tissue. Many contributing factors can include one of the following: Occupational or environmental factors: Prolonged exposure to a range of toxins and pollutants can cause serious lung damage. Workers who routinely inhale silica dust, asbestos fibers or heavy metal dusts are at risk of serious lung disease. The same is true for people exposed to certain chemical vapors or ammonia or chlorine gases. But long-term exposure to many different substances, many of which are organic, can also damage your lungs. Sugarcane, bird and animal droppings dust are such things. Other substances, such as moldy straw, can also cause a hypersensitivity response in the lung. Bacteria or fungi transmitted from hot tubs with air humidifiers that are not kept clean enough can also damage the lungs. Infections. If your immune system is weakened, it could be a viral infection such as Cytomegalovirus, a bacterial infection such as pneumonia, a fungal disease such as histoplasmosis, or a parasitic infection. Radiation:Some people who have undergone radiation therapy for lung cancer or breast cancer may experience signs of lung damage long after radiation therapy has ended. The severity of the damage depends on how much of your lungs were exposed to radiation therapy, the amount of radiation you received, whether chemotherapy was also used, or whether you had another lung disease. Medications: Some medications can damage the tissue inside your lungs. The drugs most likely to cause lung damage are chemotherapy drugs, drugs used to treat heart arrhythmias and other cardiovascular conditions, some psychiatric drugs, and some antibiotics. Other medical conditions: Interstitial lung disease can coexist with other diseases. Usually these diseases do not directly attack the liver, but instead affect tissue processes throughout the body. These include lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, dermatomyositis, polymyositis, Sjögren's syndrome, and sarcoidosis. Some researchers think that reflux disease, which causes small amounts of stomach acids to escape into the lungs, may also result in pulmonary fibrosis.

What are the Risk Factors in Interstitial Lung Disorders?

Risk factors associated with the development of lung fibrosis are: smoking, long-term exposure to occupational or environmental pollutants or dust, viral or bacterial lung infections, reflux disease (GERS). Among these, smoking is the most important, 90% of IPF patients are smokers, although the effectiveness of the others is not known exactly. For this reason, it is very important to stay away from smoking.

How Should Interstitial Lung Disorders Be Treated?

Supportive treatment should be applied first in all patients. For this, timely flu and pneumonia vaccinations, respiratory rehabilitation and oxygen therapy may be necessary. Oxygen therapy reduces shortness of breath and helps the patient to be active. Depending on the patient's needs, it may be needed continuously or only during exercise and sleep.

If the pulmonologist approves the administration of supplemental oxygen, it is important that the application is carried out as recommended. Many patients worry that they will become "addicted" to oxygen. It should be known that supplemental oxygen is not addictive. A certain level of oxygen in the bloodstream is necessary for normal bodily functions to be performed. Low levels of oxygen in the blood cause additional health problems. Lung rehabilitation is a program for those with long-term respiratory disease.

Lung rehabilitation allows patients to cope with shortness of breath and at the same time make them feel stronger and healthier. Restores the ability to carry out normal activities. It is applied to chronic lung patients who need to learn to cope with the limitations of the disease.


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