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Living With Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis

If you've had hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), avoiding the antigen that caused it is important. (An antigen is a substance that your body reacts against, such as molds, dusts, and chemicals.)

If HP is caught early, your symptoms will likely go away if you avoid contact with the antigen. Continued contact with the antigen can make your symptoms worse and may lead to long-term lung damage.

To avoid the antigen, you may need to find other hobbies, change jobs, move, or use protective gear (like a mask) at work.

If you smoke, try to quit. Smoking can make HP symptoms worse and lead to other lung diseases. Talk with your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit smoking. Also, try to avoid secondhand smoke. Ask family members, friends, and coworkers not to smoke in front of you or in your home, car, or workplace.

If you've developed pulmonary fibrosis from the HP, you'll need further ongoing care. Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition in which tissue deep in your lungs becomes scarred over time.

If you have this condition, you may need medicines, oxygen therapy, and/or pulmonary rehabilitation. Follow your treatment plan as your doctor advises.

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May 9, 2014