Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)

Interstitial lung diseases (ILD) are a group of lung diseases with a variety of causes including occupational exposures, immunosuppression, systemic diseases, smoking, drug exposure, exposure to chemicals via hobbies / pets etc. Most people with ILD report symptoms of shortness of breath particularly on exertion, a dry cough and less specifically fatigue and weight loss.

Treatment from a specialist consultant usually consists of managing the disease process and your symptoms with a variety of medications, and may or may not include oxygen therapy.

A specialist physiotherapist can teach you how to best manage your symptoms using non-medical techniques. This may include:

  • Teaching you breathing exercises to clear your chest of phlegm or to control breathlessness,
  • Improve your fitness and educate you as to the use of pacing strategies this may also include a recommendation to enrol on to a pulmonary rehabilitation course,
  • Provide general lifestyle advice,
  • Provide smoking cessation support if required,
  • Educate you about your lung condition,
  • Raise your awareness of disease specific support groups
  • Ensuring you are aware of how best to protect yourself from infections.
  • Optimising your inhaler technique (if you have one) to get the most from your medications

At your first appointment our clinicians will take a careful history from you, perform a comprehensive clinical assessment, and couple this with state of the art diagnostic procedures, including spirometry and blood oxygen check, to accurately diagnose your lung problem. They will then explain the results of the assessment, and provide you with a treatment programme suited to your specific needs. The physiotherapist will provide individually tailored treatment and ensure you are able to self-manage your condition. Any treatment will be recommended in line with the most recent COPD National Clinical Guidelines for the management of COPD. There will be time available for you to ask questions. It is possible for a written report to be sent to your GP or Consultant on request. Follow up appointments can be made as often as required which is determined on an individual basis.