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Living With Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis

Once hypersensitivity pneumonitis is diagnosed, measures should be taken to avoid the dust to which your lungs has developed allergy. Avoiding the dust is important both in early and later stages of hypersensitivity pneumonitis. You can live a normal life and your lungs may become normal if you avoid the dust in the early stages of hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

Managing Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis

You can take steps to limit exposure to certain dusts.

  • Allergy-causing bacteria and fungus can thrive in stagnant, or still, water. Be sure to remove any standing water inside and outside your home.
  • Take efforts to keep the humidity in your home and work below 60 percent.
  • Immediately repair any water damage inside your home or work. This includes removing water-damaged carpeting, furnishings and drywall.
  • Properly maintain your heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
  • Make sure that the water in heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems is not recirculated.
  • Properly dry and store farm products if you work with them.

If you cannot completely avoid the dusts, there are certain protective devices that can reduce the chances of breathing in the dust. You can consider wearing an air-purifying respirator. Air purifying respirators have been used to prevent acute attacks of farmer's lung. Wearing such respirators for long periods can be a challenge. Dust respirators are not found to be very helpful. Some engineering controls, such as having an electrostatic dust filter in the return ducts of central air conditioning systems, can also be considered to reduce dust exposure.

Finding Support

The Lung Association recommends patients and caregivers join our Living with Lung Disease Support Community to connect with others facing this disease. You can also call the Lung Association's Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA to talk to a trained respiratory professional who can help answer your questions and connect you with additional support.

Ask your healthcare provider about lung disease support groups in your area, or look online for a Better Breathers Club near you.

    This content was developed in partnership with the CHEST Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the American College of Chest Physicians.

    Last updated April 4, 2018.

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