PFF Insights

Working Together to Raise Awareness of Interstitial Lung Disease

September 11, 2021

The first-ever ILD Day will take place on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 to drive awareness of interstitial lung disease (ILD). There are more than 200 types of interstitial lung disease, and more than 250,000 Americans are living with pulmonary fibrosis (PF) and ILD. Pulmonary fibrosis can be seen in many of the more than 200 types of ILD. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is one of the most common forms of ILD and has no known cause.

We are proud to have partnered with eight other organizations representing patients affected by ILD to educate people about the disease. Unfortunately, ILD does not yet have a cure. By raising awareness, we hope to help affected patients reach diagnosis and treatment more quickly.

What is ILD?

Interstitial lung disease, or ILD, is the umbrella term used for a large group of diseases characterized by inflammation and/or scarring in the lungs. The inflammation and scarring can injure the lungs, making it difficult to breathe and get oxygen to the bloodstream. The damage to the lungs can be irreversible and may worsen over time. ILD is difficult to diagnose, may be debilitating, and in some cases, incurable.

There are more than 50,000 new cases of ILD diagnosed in the U.S. annually. Any age group is subject to get an ILD, including children. Patients with some inflammatory and connective tissue diseases are at a higher risk for ILD. In addition to IPF, people with diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, Sjögren's syndrome, sarcoidosis, and myositis – including dermatomyositis and polymyositis (DM and PM), are at higher risk.

Shortness of breath is a common symptom of all ILDs. Other symptoms include dry, persistent cough, fatigue and weakness, chest discomfort, “clubbing” of the fingertips, loss of appetite, and unexplained weight loss. Causes of ILD include the use of certain medications, radiation to the chest, autoimmune diseases, as well as environmental and occupational exposures.

We Need Your Help to Raise Awareness

You can help! Whether you share a message of support on social media using #ILDDay or strike up conversations with your friends and family, any awareness you can generate will go a long way in driving earlier diagnoses of ILD. To learn more, or to register to attend an educational webinar that will take place on September 15, visit

Partners for Progress

The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation is one of nine organizations united to create the first ILD Day. Our partners include the Arthritis Foundation, Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research, The Myositis Association, PF Warriors, Scleroderma Foundation, Scleroderma Research Foundation, Sjögren's Foundation and Wescoe Foundation for Pulmonary Fibrosis. ILD Day is supported by funding from Boehringer Ingelheim.