What is Byssinosis?
Byssinosis which is also called by the names of Brown Lung Disease or Monday Fever, is form of lung disease which is caused mainly due to occupational hazards that is exposure to cotton dust at places where ventilation is not appropriate. This disease generally occurs in population working in the textile industry where cotton is used in abundance. Some researchers believe that this disease is directly caused by cotton whereas there are some researchers who believe that it is caused by toxins generated from gram negative bacteria that are present in cotton. Of about 100 deaths related to this disease in the 90s in the United States more than half of them belonged to the textile industry. The most affected areas in the United States by this disease have been North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Causes of Byssinosis or Brown Lung Disease or Monday Fever
People with sensitivity to dust may experience a condition resembling asthma due to exposure. United States has taken preventive steps to prevent this disease from occurring but it is still quite prevalent, although the number of cases has come down significantly. Smokers are at increased risk for contracting this disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Byssinosis or Brown Lung Disease or Monday Fever
Some of the symptoms of byssinosis are a feeling of tightness in the chest, cough, wheezing with the symptoms getting worse while working or being exposed to cotton and then easing up during the weekend when the person is away from the workplace.
Diagnosis of Byssinosis or Brown Lung Disease or Monday Fever
To diagnose byssinosis, the physician takes a comprehensive medical history and the questions may relate to any exposure and the length of exposure. A thorough physical examination is also conducted with special emphasis on the lungs. Other screenings to conform the diagnosis include a chest x-ray, CT of the chest, and PFTs.
Treatment of Byssinosis or Brown Lung Disease or Monday Fever
The mainstay of treatment of byssinosis is to avoid the exposure causing it but if it cannot be helped then proper ventilation required to prevent byssinosis. Bronchodilators are helpful for the treatment of byssinosis as it improves the symptoms. In extreme cases, steroids are also prescribed. Nebulizer treatments are also recommended in long term case scenario. Smoking cessation is a very important aspect of treatment. Breathing exercises are also noted to be helpful for lung conditions.
Prognosis of Byssinosis or Brown Lung Disease or Monday Fever
Most of the people suffering from this disease recover fully after completely eliminating the exposure to dust; however, people with long term and chronic exposure to cotton dust can have an impaired lung function. Death resulting from this disease is extremely rare.