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How is pneumonitis diagnosed?

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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.

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, work, and hobbies. They’ll listen carefully to your lungs while you breathe.

They might also do imaging tests, like X-rays and CT scans, a spirometry test to show how much and how fast you breathe in and out, a blood oxygen test to show the percentage of oxygen in your blood, a bronchoscopy to look in your lung or take out liquid to look at, or a biopsy to cut off a small piece of lung tissue to look at under a microscope.

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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