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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.
- Interstitial Lung Disease (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Interstitial Lung Disease: Overview (National Jewish Health)
- Occupational Respiratory Disease (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in Spanish
- What Are Interstitial Lung Diseases? (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- Oxygen Therapy: MedlinePlus Health Topic (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
- Pulmonary Rehabilitation: MedlinePlus Health Topic (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
- Beryllium Toxicity (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Dusts and Molds (National Farm Medicine Center) - PDF
- How to Properly Put On, Take Off a Disposable Respirator (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - PDF Also in Spanish
- Particulate Matter (PM) Pollution (Environmental Protection Agency)
- What Is Crystalline Silica? (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
- Coal Mining-Related Respiratory Diseases (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
- Farmer's Lung: Causes and Symptoms of Mold and Dust Induced Respiratory Illness (Virginia Cooperative Extension)
- Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- Idiopathic Interstitial Pneumonias (Merck & Co., Inc.) Also in Spanish
- Learn about Silicosis (American Lung Association)
- Pneumonitis (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
- Silicosis: Learn the Facts! (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) - PDF Also in Spanish
- Pulmonary alveolar microlithiasis: MedlinePlus Genetics (National Library of Medicine)
- Surfactant dysfunction: MedlinePlus Genetics (National Library of Medicine)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Rituximab versus intravenous cyclophosphamide in patients with connective tissue disease-associated interstitial...
- Article: A retrospective analysis of the relationship between anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody...
- Article: Guidelines of the Polish Respiratory Society on the Diagnosis and Treatment...
- Interstitial Lung Diseases -- see more articles
- Childhood Interstitial Lung Disease (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)