Interstitial Lung Disease Specialist

Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine

Sports Medicine Physicians & Pulmonologist located in Metairie, LA

Breathing difficulties can affect every part of your life, making it difficult to sleep well at night, get the exercise you need, and be productive at work. At Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine in Metairie, Louisiana, lifestyle medicine physician, Andrea Espinoza, MD, FCCP, and the team experts can help improve your breathing and your quality of life with treatments and therapies for interstitial lung disease. To find out more about the condition and how to ease your symptoms, call Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine, or book an appointment online today.

Interstitial Lung Disease Q&A

What is interstitial lung disease?

Interstitial lung disease is a term that describes a group of disorders affecting your lungs in similar ways. Specifically, they all lead over time to irreversible scarring on your lungs. This scarring can make it difficult to breathe and can lead to a lack of oxygen in your blood.

Interstitial lung disease has a wide range of possible causes, but sometimes there is no identifiable cause. You may be at risk of getting interstitial lung disease because of:

  • Your family history
  • Asbestos exposure
  • Dust exposure
  • Exposure to animal droppings
  • Heart medications
  • Certain antibiotics
  • Certain anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Smoking

The team at Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine and ONE Clinic uses techniques like pulmonary function testing, CXR as well as review of outside imaging (ie, HRCT) to analyze your lungs’ anatomy and function.  Then, they help you explore treatment options to improve your quality of life. 

What are the symptoms of interstitial lung disease?

The primary symptom of interstitial lung disease is shortness of breath, which can worsen over time without adequate treatment or management strategies. Other possible symptoms include:

  • Dry coughing
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Fatigue 
  • Unexplained weight loss

Symptoms usually appear once the condition damages your lungs. That’s why it’s important to call Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine right away as soon as you notice shortness of breath or dry coughing. Without treatment, interstitial lung disease can lead to serious health complications like high blood pressure and heart failure. 

What are my treatment options for interstitial lung disease?

After careful evaluation of your lung functioning and a review of your symptoms, the team at Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine chooses an appropriate treatment for the type and severity of interstitial lung disease that you have. Treatments cannot reverse any existing scarring on your lungs, but they can improve your quality of life and ease your symptoms. In some cases, they can slow the disease’s progression. Your options for treatment might include:


Medications like corticosteroids can reduce the inflammation in your lungs that makes it harder to breathe. The team at Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine might also prescribe other medicines that can help slow new scarring on your lungs.


Treatments like oxygen therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation can help you breathe easier and ease complications like insomnia and trouble exercising with interstitial lung disease.

Lifestyle adjustments

If you have interstitial lung disease, it’s essential that you do not smoke. The team might also recommend improving your diet, getting the vaccines you need to prevent infections and other lifestyle adjustments.

To find out if you have interstitial lung disease and breathe easier with a personalized treatment plan, call Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine or schedule your appointment online today.