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.
Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.
December 9, 2013
Gary H. Gibbons
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The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.