BYSSINOSIS

  • A rare lung disease caused by inhaling hemp, flax and cotton particles.
    • a.k.a brown lung disease, a form of occupational asthma.
  • Mainly affects workers in the textile industry.
    • Symptoms are similar to asthma.
    • Smoking may increase the risk of developing byssinosis. A history of asthma or allergies may also increase the risk.

Symptoms usually appear during the beginning of the workweek and typically improve by the end of the week.

Symptoms of byssinosis are similar to asthma and include:

  • tightness in the chest
  • Wheezing
  • coughing

For severe cases, flu-like symptoms may arise such as:

  • a fever
  • muscle and joint pain
  • shivering
  • tiredness
  • a dry cough

The symptoms usually go away upon removal from dust exposure. However, lung function can be permanently impaired if exposure is ongoing.

DIAGNOSIS

  • Physician may do/request:
    • History & Physical Exam
  • Other additional tests such as:
    • Chest x-ray
    • CT scan of lungs
    • Pulmonary Function tests

 

RECOMMENDED MEDICATIONS

  • Main treatment is avoiding exposure to harmful dust.
  • Bronchodilators: for relief of mild to moderate symptom.
  • Inhaled corticosteroids: for more severe cases to reduce lung inflammation.
  • Supplemental oxygen therapy.
  • Nebulizer: for chronic disease.
  • Breathing exercises and physical activity can also help improve lung health and symptoms.

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