Interstitial Lung Disease Prevention
In general, avoid or limit exposure to toxins or treatments that can lead to interstitial lung disease.
Help Reduce Your Risk of Interstitial Lung Disease
Maintaining general good health with proper diet and exercise may lower your chances of developing interstitial lung disease. Quitting smoking and avoiding exposure to substances known to cause lung disease can prevent the disorder from developing or worsening. People who are employed in jobs where they may be heavily exposed to known causes of lung disease in the workplace typically undergo routine screening for lung disease.
Tests and Screenings for Interstitial Lung Disease
Interstitial lung disease can be difficult to diagnose because an unusually large number of disorders fall into this category. In addition, the distinction between known causes and unknown causes of the disease is not always clear. Because the signs and symptoms of a number of other pulmonary and heart diseases – such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart failure and asthma – mimic those of interstitial lung disease, your WellStar physician needs to rule those out before making a diagnosis.
To diagnose interstitial lung disease, your WellStar physician will take a careful medical history and perform a physical examination. When interstitial lung disease is suspected, your physician may order a variety of tests or procedures:
- Imaging, such as a chest X-ray or computerized tomography (CT) scan to eliminate other possible conditions causing signs and symptoms similar to those of interstitial lung disease and to reveal details of your lung tissue
- Blood tests to check for connective tissue diseases
- Lung function tests that measure the volume of your lungs, the amount of air you breathe in and out, the rate of your breathing and the ability of your lungs to deliver oxygen to your blood
- Exercise tests to test lung function
- Bronchoscopy or trans bronchial biopsy, a procedure in which your physician passes a fiber-optic tube called a bronchoscope through your mouth or nose and into your lungs to remove tissue samples for examination
- Bronchoalveolar lavage, a procedure in which your physician inserts a bronchoscope into your lungs, injects a saline solution and immediately suctions it out. The collected liquid is then sent to the lab for examination.