interstitial lung disease and pulmonary fibrosis
while the progress and symptoms of these diseases may vary from person to person, there is one common link between the many forms of ild. they all begin with an inflammation. the inflammation may affect different parts of the lung, as explained below:
[font=verdana,arial,sans-serif]1. the walls of the bronchioles (small airways). when inflammation involves the bronchioles, it is called bronchiolitis.
[font=verdana,arial,sans-serif]the diagram below shows the changes that happen in lung tissue with interstitial lung disease.
[font=verdana,arial,sans-serif]2. the walls and air spaces of the alveoli (air sacs). when inflammation involves the alveoli, it is called alveolitis.
[font=verdana,arial,sans-serif]3. the small blood vessels (capillaries) of the lungs. when inflammation involves the small blood vessels, it is called vasculitis.
[font=verdana,arial,sans-serif]inflammation of these parts of the lung may heal or may lead to permanent scarring of the lung tissue. when scarring of the lung tissue takes place, the condition is called pulmonary fibrosis.
[font=verdana,arial,sans-serif]fibrosis, or scarring of the lung tissue, results in permanent loss of that tissue's ability to transport oxygen. the level of disability that a person experiences depends on the amount of scarring of the tissue. this is because the air sacs, as well as the lung tissue between and surrounding the air sacs, and the lung capillaries, are destroyed by the formation of scar tissue.
think of the lungs scaring like shoe leather: gets stiff doesen't bend, so oxygen can't get transported across the cells.
treatments mainly steroids, oxygen therapy (maybe higher flow 3-4 litters, with sarcodosis i've seen 6 liters), if high flow: oxygen tubing with resevoir helpful, mini nebs, energy conservation techniques/pulmonary rehab, flu and pneumonia vaccine. lastly lung transplant if appropriate.
pulmonary fibrosis: patient information handbook
(pulmonary fibrosis foundation) - large pdf file
from coalition for pulmonary fibrosis
what every patient with ipf should know
to download a pdf version of this guide click here
treatment: idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
pulmonary rehabilitation and oxygen management for the ipf patient
(american lung association)
what you can do: idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
(coalition for pulmonary fibrosis)