What are the Symptoms of Interstitial Lung Disease?

What are the Symptoms of Interstitial Lung Disease?

Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a group of disorders that cause inflammation and scarring of the lung tissue, affecting the interstitium (the space between the air sacs). Symptoms of interstitial lung disease can develop gradually and may include:

  • Shortness of Breath: Gradually increasing difficulty in breathing, especially during physical activity.
  • Dry, Persistent Cough: A chronic, dry cough that doesn’t produce mucus or phlegm.
  • Fatigue: Feeling unusually tired, weak, or lacking in energy.
  • Chest Discomfort or Pain: Mild to moderate chest discomfort or pain, often associated with breathing or coughing.
  • Wheezing: A whistling or wheezing sound when breathing.
  • Clubbing of Fingers and Toes: Abnormal enlargement and rounding of the tips of the fingers and toes.
  • Rapid, Shallow Breathing: Breathing faster than usual, with shallow breaths.
  • Unintended Weight Loss: Losing weight without trying to.
  • Muscle and Joint Pain: Aches and pains in muscles and joints.
  • Dry Mouth or Eyes: Dryness in the mouth or eyes due to associated conditions like Sj√∂gren’s syndrome.
  • Swelling in Legs: Swelling or fluid retention in the legs and ankles (peripheral edema).
  • Difficulty Swallowing: Difficulty or pain while swallowing, particularly with solid foods.

It’s important to note that the severity and combination of these symptoms can vary from person to person, and some individuals may experience symptoms more acutely than others. If you suspect you may have interstitial lung disease or are experiencing persistent respiratory or chest symptoms, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and appropriate diagnosis.

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