What is interstitial lung disease?

Interstitial lung disease (ILD, also called pulmonary fibrosis) is a condition that causes scarring and inflammation (swelling) in the lungs. The scarring can make it harder to breathe.

Can the scarring from ILD be undone?

The scarring on the lungs from ILD cannot be undone. Treatment can help slow down how quickly the scarring affects the lungs.

What causes ILD?

In most cases, doctors are not sure what causes ILD. In other cases, ILD is caused by:

  • Autoimmune disorders (disorders in which the immune system mistakes healthy cells in the body for unhealthy cells)
  • Spending time around harmful substances, like mold, asbestos or cigarette smoke
  • Certain medications
Rev. 4/2018. Reviewed by the MGHfC Family Advisory Council.