Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis: causes, symptoms & treatment


Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is an uncommon immune system condition that affects your lungs. Bird fancier’s lung, extrinsic allergic alveolitis, farmer’s lung, hot tub lung, and humidifier lung are all names for this disease. HP occurs in some people after they breathe in certain substances in the environment, such as the skin cells shed by animals with fur or mold. These substances activate the immune system and cause short-or long-term lung inflammation. This inflammation prevents the lungs from working properly and can make breathing difficult. 

What is Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis

Some types of hypersensitivity pneumonitis can be treated by avoiding the trigger or by taking medications, without treatment, HP can result in permanent lung damage. HP is a type of allergy that causes inflammation in your lung’s small air sacs (alveoli). Your symptoms may be acute and disappear quickly, or they may develop over time and become chronic. Chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis is an interstitial lung disease. It can eventually cause lung scarring.

Causes of hypersensitivity pneumonitis 

HP is caused by inhaling substances(allergens) that provoke an immunological reaction in your lungs. This can harm your lungs and worsen your symptoms over time. Around 300 different causes of HP have been identified, including: 

  1. Bacteria.
  2. Certain chemicals and metals.
  3. Molds and fungi.
  4. Animal and plant proteins. 
  5. Humidifiers, air conditioners, and ventilation systems.
  6. Food contamination or factory products.
  7. Bird dropping, feathers, and animal furs.
  8. Contaminated fluids from metalwork.
  9. Hay or gain for feeding animals.
  10. Hardwood dust.
  11. Hot tubs.

Symptoms of hypersensitivity pneumonitis 

Hypersensitivity pneumonitis symptoms can be transient or persistent. Acute symptoms appear within a few hours of being exposed to an allergen and might linger for several hours or days. Chronic symptoms might emerge gradually and worsen with time. 

Symptoms of acute hypersensitivity pneumonitis 

  1. Shortness of breath(dyspnea)
  2. Chest tightness.
  3. Dry cough.
  4. Muscle aches.
  5. Fever.
  6. Fatigue.
  7. chills.

Symptoms of chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis

  • Cough.
  • Shortness of breath, particularly after effort or activity.
  • Weight loss.
  • Fatigue.
  • Finger or toe clubbing.

Treatment of hypersensitivity pneumonitis 

Treatment for HP can help avoid lung scarring and alleviate your symptoms. Avoiding the chemical, bacterium, or other things that caused your ailment is frequently the first step in treatment. you may not always know what is causing it. 

 You may also require one or more of the therapies listed below:

  • Medicines: to soothe your immune system or relax the muscles in your airways to make it easier to breathe.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation: to improve your quality of life by learning how to breathe more easily.
  • Oxygen therapy: if you have low oxygen levels in your body.
  • Lung transplant: if your lungs are severely injured and no other therapeutic options are available to you. 

If HP is not treat properly, it can result in pulmonary hypertension, permanent lung damage, or heart failure. 

How can you manage it at home?

The steps listed below can assist you in managing your condition:

  • Get regular medical care.
  • Engage in frequent physical activity.
  • Obtain routine vaccinations.
  • Quit smoking. 

Dr. Sheetu Singh, director OF ILD & pulmonary rehab center and nationally renowned pulmonologist, is an expert in hypersensitivity pneumonitis-related disorders. Consult with her to know more about this disease, and if you feel any kind of symptoms regarding this. 

Dr. Sheetu Singh, a nationally renowned pulmonologist, Director ILD & Pulmonary Rehab Clinic, is an expert in chest-related conditions. She got her training from SMS Medical College, Jaipur followed by a visit to Cleveland Clinic, USA.

Contact Info

Address: Mahavir Jaipuriya Rajasthan Hospital Milap Nagar, JLN Marg, Jaipur

Mobile: (+91)-8696666380

Email-Id: sheetusingh@yahoo.co.in

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