Byssinosis

  • Alternative Names

    Cotton worker's lung; Cotton bract disease; Mill fever; Brown lung


    Treatment

    The most important treatment is to stop exposure to the dust. Reducing dust levels in the factory (by improving machinery or ventilation) will help prevent byssinosis. Some people may have to change jobs to avoid further exposure.

    Medications such as bronchodilators will usually improve symptoms. Corticosteroids may be prescribed in more severe cases.

    Stopping smoking is very important for people with this condition. Respiratory treatments, including nebulizers, may be prescribed if the condition becomes chronic. Home oxygen therapy may also be needed if blood oxygen levels are low.

    Physical exercise programs, breathing exercises, and patient education programs are often very helpful for people with a chronic lung disease.


    Support Groups

    Attending support groups with others who are affected by similar diseases can often help you understand your disease and adjust to the treatments and lifestyle changes required.


    Expectations (prognosis)

    Symptoms usually improve after stopping exposure to the dust. Continued exposure can lead to damaged lung function. In the U.S., worker's compensation may be available to people with byssinosis.


    Complications

    Chronic bronchitis may develop.


    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of byssinosis.


Images

Lungs