The term childhood interstitial lung disease can be a bit misleading because it is usually seen in people who are younger than the age of 50.
It is also referred to as children’s interstitial lung disease, and it’s a chronic lung disease in children.
childhood interstitial lung disease is one of the types of chronic lung diseases that can occur due to asbestos exposure.
It is not very common but still, there are thousands of cases of it occurring every year.
It is thought that around three million Americans currently suffer from this condition.
What exactly is this type of lung disease?
It is known as interstitial pulmonary fibrosis. This is basically where areas of the lung that lie just underneath the skin surface become inflamed.
There are various common causes of childhood interstitial lung disease such as exposure to some form of the mineral, however, the main cause is asbestos.
Asbestos is a very strong mineral that was once used to line buildings in many cases.
The life expectancy of a person living with the disease is usually under 10 years, however, the disease can be well managed if quick medical attention is given early.
Children interstitial lung disease Symptoms
The symptoms of childhood interstitial lung disease are generally not very serious. They may actually be quite harmless.
Children will most likely not exhibit any of these symptoms and it is not noticeable during childhood.
During adolescence, however, when the syndrome progresses, it can cause several symptoms like the following.
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pains
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent the disease from developing into something worse. That said, it can be managed with some changes to your lifestyle.
How to Manage childhood interstitial lung disease
If you smoke, quit smoking because smoking can make the condition worse.
When you are exposed to asbestos, it is important to wash your hands immediately after touching it.
This helps to reduce the amount of dust that is being inhaled into your lungs and mouth.
If possible, cover up the area where the asbestos is located. This means wearing a protective mask or anything that will help to prevent you from breathing in the dust and debris.
Although it is better to prevent the symptoms than to suffer from them if you do find yourself with a problem you should contact your doctor immediately.
Childhood interstitial lung disease Treatment
Childhood interstitial lung disease can be a particularly distressing condition. However, the good news is that it is easily curable. Once you have been diagnosed with it, you will be offered treatment options.
Of course, the earlier the disease is detected, the better the chances for a full recovery.
One of the first things your doctor will likely do is provide you with a bronchodilator to help with your breathing.
This will help to speed up your metabolism so that you can normalize your body’s processes.
You may also be given medications to lower your cholesterol so that your heart works better and that your lung functions properly.
These medicines will help to improve the symptoms of emphysema while they are still relatively mild.
The treatment of childhood interstitial lung disease will depend on many factors including the severity of the disease and your circumstances.
Your doctor will decide whether you need surgery, medication, or a combination of both. Regardless, the goal of treatment is to allow you to get back to living a normal life as soon as possible.