Medication can prevent lung tissue scarring and improve symptoms.
Lung transplant can help you live longer and better.
A legacy of compassion
Erin Popovich was always concerned with how people were going to afford their medications or get to their therapy sessions. She routinely insisted that her daughter reach out to others with ILD and ask if they needed help. Erin’s legacy lives on through the Erin Popovich Endowment.
There are actions you can take to manage life with interstitial lung disease (ILD). Pulmonary rehabilitation is often the first step. Treatments such as oxygen therapy and medication can offer relief from symptoms. It’s also important to treat other conditions, including GERD and sleep apnea, that can affect ILD and your quality of life.
Depending on the type of ILD you have and your symptoms, there are several treatment options, including:
- Pulmonary rehabilitation: Your doctor may recommend pulmonary rehabilitation. This supervised exercise program is for people with lung disease. It can help you learn to breathe better so you can still do your normal activities and hobbies.
- Medication: Medication can help relieve symptoms of ILD. It also can prevent lung scarring and improve lung function. Find out more about ILD medications.
- Lung transplant: A lung transplant is a serious commitment, but it can help people live longer. Find out more about the benefits and risks of a lung transplant.
- Oxygen therapy: Oxygen therapy is the use of supplemental oxygen prescribed by your doctor as a medical treatment. Your doctor may prescribe oxygen therapy if your blood oxygen levels are too low. Learn more about oxygen therapy.
ILD and Comorbidities
You can have one or more conditions (comorbidities) along with ILD. If you have symptoms or are worried about having other conditions, talk with your doctor. Discover how ILD and other conditions may affect your health.
Tips for Staying Healthy with ILD
You play a key role in your health and treatment. Things you can do to keep healthy with ILD:
- If you smoke, quit!
- Avoid secondhand smoke, vaping, and inhaled substances that could hurt your lungs
Focus on health
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy diet and weight
- Control acid reflux/GERD
- Treat sleep apnea
Keep up with medications and appointments
- Take your medication as prescribed
- Go to your follow-up visits with your doctor
- Get all needed lab, radiology, and lung function tests
- Use oxygen therapy the way your doctor has prescribed
- Get your flu vaccine every year
- Get vaccinated for pneumonia
- Follow CDC guidelines regarding quarantine, handwashing, and social distancing
- Use face masks during pandemics:
- All about masks (PDF)
- Proper mask usage (PDF)
- Keep a clean and healthy home (PDF)
- Handwashing tips (PDF)
- Coping skills and mental health resources (PDF)
Oxygen therapy can improve your quality of life.
Living with Interstitial Lung Disease Patient Education Guide
This 52-page guide explores every facet of ILD that you may encounter, from diagnosis and treatment to support and myths. With the most up-to-date information available, this guide will help you and your loved ones feel confident when making decisions about your diagnosis.