With more than 250,000 Americans living with interstitial lung disease (ILD) and pulmonary fibrosis (PF), nine organizations are joining forces to present the third annual ILD Day on Wednesday, Sept. 13, to drive awareness of the diseases. ILD is the umbrella term used for a large group of more than 200 diseases characterized by inflammation and/or scarring in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe and get oxygen to the bloodstream.
More than 50,000 new cases of ILD are diagnosed in the U.S. annually. Pulmonary fibrosis can be seen in many types of ILD and the damage caused by ILD can be irreversible and worsen over time.
“Since the symptoms of ILD are similar to other more common illnesses, it can be difficult to diagnose. That’s why you should see a pulmonologist if you or a loved one has shortness of breath, fatigue, and a persistent dry cough,” said Dr. Amy Hajari Case, PFF Senior Medical Advisor for Education and Awareness. “The goal of ILD Day is to expand the awareness and understanding of ILD among patients and healthcare providers, and to share resources and support for those who are living with the disease.”
Symptoms and Risk Factors of ILD
The most common symptoms of ILD include shortness of breath, dry cough, and fatigue.
Causes of ILD include the use of certain medications, radiation to the chest, and environmental and occupational exposures. In addition, patients with some diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, myositis, including dermatomyositis and polymyositis (DM and PM), sarcoidosis and Sjögren’s, may develop ILD. A specific form of ILD, namely idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), occurs in most often older individuals.
“Our collaboration with eight patient advocacy organizations is crucial in educating at-risk patients about ILD so those who have symptoms can be diagnosed more quickly to receive the appropriate care and treatment to manage their condition,” added Case.
An educational webinar called “Breathing Better with Supplemental Oxygen” will be held at 12 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, Sept. 13. The presentation will address why oxygen is a physiological problem with ILD and why supplemental oxygen is recommended. Important information about portable oxygen containers or devices that concentrate oxygen from ambient air, and how to get involved in oxygen advocacy initiatives will be provided. The webinar will be presented by Dr. Jisha K. Joshua, pulmonologist with the University of California, San Diego; Susan Jacobs, Research Nurse Manager, Pulmonary and Critical Medicine and Nurse Coordinator, Center for Advanced Lung Disease, at Stanford Medicine; and Gary Ewart, Chief or Advocacy and Government Relations for the American Thoracic Society. Registration is available here.
ILD Day is a collaboration between the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, Arthritis Foundation, Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research, The Myositis Association, PF Warriors, National Scleroderma Foundation, Scleroderma Research Foundation, Sjögren’s Foundation, and Wescoe Foundation for Pulmonary Fibrosis.
To register for the ILD Day webinar or for more information about ILD, visit ILDDay.org.
About ILD Day
ILD Day was created to drive awareness of interstitial lung disease (ILD) and is recognized annually on the second Wednesday in September. It is presented by a collaboration of nine organizations representing patients affected by interstitial lung disease: Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, Arthritis Foundation, Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research, The Myositis Association, PF Warriors, National Scleroderma Foundation, Scleroderma Research Foundation, Sjögren’s Foundation, and Wescoe Foundation for Pulmonary Fibrosis. For more information, visit ILDDay.org.