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How do I know if I have pneumonitis?

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Pneumonitis is when your lungs are irritated or inflamed. Almost anything can cause it, including germs, medication, and allergies. Breathing in harsh chemicals, like bleach, can also bring on the condition.

Typically, when your doctor says pneumonitis, they mean something has irritated your lungs rather than infected them.

It happens when tiny air sacs in your lungs, called alveoli, get inflamed and swollen.

You might have pneumonitis if you find it harder to catch your breath when you walk up a flight of stairs, exercise, or do another activity. Other symptoms include trouble breathing, even when you’re not doing anything, dry cough, tiredness, unintended weight loss, and loss of appetite.

If you don’t treat pneumonitis, it can start to scar your lungs. This is called pulmonary fibrosis, and it can be very serious.

SOURCES:

American Lung Association: “Learn About Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis,” “Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis Symptoms and Diagnosis.”

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety: “Farmer's Lung.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis.”

Mayo Clinic: “Pneumonitis.”

The Nemours Foundation: “A to Z: Pneumonitis.”

Reviewed by Carmelita Swiner on April 27, 2020

SOURCES:

American Lung Association: “Learn About Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis,” “Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis Symptoms and Diagnosis.”

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety: “Farmer's Lung.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis.”

Mayo Clinic: “Pneumonitis.”

The Nemours Foundation: “A to Z: Pneumonitis.”

Reviewed by Carmelita Swiner on April 27, 2020

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How do you treat pneumonitis?

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