Do you have Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis?
By The Air Purifier
This is an allergic reaction that causes inflammation in and around the air sacs of the lungs. This reaction can be caused by small organisms like dust, mold spores and chemicals. Most people exposed to small amounts of these allergens will usually not have an reaction but large amounts over longer periods of time is when a reaction can occur which can cause permanent damage to the lungs.
When exposure is long term your immune system starts to react with the allergic reaction which can cause chronic inflammation and lung damage.
When a person has developed hypersensitivity to an allergen (in this case mold spores) their symptoms could be as follows
- Shortness of breath
These symptoms can last a few days until contact with these allergens are gone. But complete recovery could take weeks. Hospitalization could be needed for people who are experiencing shortness of breath that isn’t going away.
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Causes and Factors
There are many allergens that can cause this problem including;
- Contaminated humidifier and air conditioning units
- Wood dust
- Bacteria in Moldy Hay
- Bird droppings
- Chemicals (Urethanes)
- Chemicals found in Polyurethane foam, moldings, synthetic rubber
- Mushroom compost, moldy barley, cheese mold, infected maple bark
A Doctor could prescribe an allergen blood test, chest x-ray of your lungs or testing your lungs for oxygen exchange levels.
Pneumonia vs Pneumonitis
Pneumonia is lung inflammation caused by an infection and Pneumonitis is lung inflammation without the presence of an infection. (1)
Using an Air Purifier that uses a HEPA filter in your workplace or home could help your situation because its ability to eliminate small particles from the air.
If you have been exposed to an allergen that has caused an acute hypersensitivity pneumonitis episode one time, you should be able recover without treatments. But if exposure has been over a long period of time you probably need to see a Doctor about possible lung damage.
Cedars-Sinai website on Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis.
- Pneumonia vs Pneumonitis (Video) | Khan Academy - https://www.khanacademy.org/science/health-and-medicine/respiratory-system-diseases/pneumonia/v/pneumonia-vs-pneumonitis - retrieved Oct 6, 2019.
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