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Interstitial lung disease - adults - discharge

Diffuse parenchymal lung disease - discharge; Alveolitis - discharge; Idiopathic pulmonary pneumonitis - discharge; IPP - discharge; Chronic interstitial lung - discharge; Chronic respiratory interstitial lung - discharge; Hypoxia - interstitial lung - discharge

You were in the hospital to treat your breathing problems that are caused by interstitial lung disease. This disease scars your lungs, which makes it hard for your body to get enough oxygen.

I Would Like to Learn About:

When You're in the Hospital

In the hospital, you received oxygen treatment. After you go home, you may need to keep using oxygen. Your doctor may have given you a new medicine to treat your lungs.

What to Expect at Home

After you go home, follow instructions on taking care of yourself. Use the information below as a reminder.

Keep Active

To build strength:

Build your strength even when you are sitting.

Ask your provider whether you need to use oxygen during your activities, and if so, how much. You may be told to keep your oxygen above 90%. You can measure this with an oximeter. This is a small device that measures your body's oxygen level.

Talk to your provider about whether you should do an exercise and conditioning program such as pulmonary rehabilitation.

Self-care

Eat smaller meals more often. It might be easier to breathe when your stomach is not full. Try to eat 6 small meals a day. DO NOT drink a lot of liquid before eating or with your meals.

Ask your provider what foods to eat to get more energy.

Keep your lungs from becoming more damaged.

Take all the medicines that your provider prescribed for you.

Talk to your provider if you feel depressed or anxious.

Stay Away From Infections

Get a flu shot every year. Ask your provider if you should get a pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccine.

Wash your hands often. Always wash after you go to the bathroom and when you are around people who are sick.

Stay away from crowds. Ask visitors who have colds to wear masks or to visit after they are all better.

Make it Easy for Yourself at Home

Place items you use often in spots where you do not have to reach or bend over to get them.

Use a cart with wheels to move things around the house and kitchen. Use an electric can opener, dishwasher, and other things that will make your chores easier to do. Use cooking tools (knives, peelers, and pans) that are not heavy.

To save energy:

Going Home With Oxygen

Never change how much oxygen is flowing in your oxygen setup without asking your provider.

Always have a back-up supply of oxygen in the home or with you when you go out. Keep the phone number of your oxygen supplier with you at all times. Learn how to use oxygen safely at home.

Follow-up

Your hospital provider may ask you to make a follow-up visit with:

When to Call the Doctor

Call your provider if your breathing is:

Also call your provider if:

Related Information

Sarcoidosis
Drug-induced pulmonary disease
Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
Rheumatoid lung disease
Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis
Asbestosis
Interstitial lung disease
Coal worker's pneumoconiosis
Breathing difficulty
Eating extra calories when sick - adults
Using oxygen at home
Oxygen safety
How to breathe when you are short of breath
Using oxygen at home - what to ask your doctor

References

Raghu G. Interstitial lung disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 92.

Ryu JH, Selman M, Colby TV, King TE. Idiopathic interstitial pneumonias. In: Broaddus VC, Mason RJ, Ernst JD, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 63.

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Review Date: 2/18/2018  

Reviewed By: Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, MHS, Paul F. Harron Jr. Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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