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Symptoms of ILD may not appear until the lungs have already been significantly damaged. These symptoms usually become more severe as ILD progresses.

The most common symptom of ILD is shortness of breath. Since ILD gets worse over time, you may not notice any symptoms at first. You might notice mild shortness of breath while exercising, climbing stairs, or performing other more challenging physical activities. As the disease progresses, you may notice shortness of breath while doing less challenging activities, such as getting dressed, eating, bathing, or talking.

Other possible symptoms of ILD include:

  • Dry cough (cough that does not produce any mucus or sputum)
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Fatigue

Advanced ILD can cause other symptoms, such as:

  • Clubbing of the fingers
  • A blue color in the lips, fingernails, or skin; this is due to low levels of oxygen in the blood
  • Swelling in the feet and legs