Popcorn Lung Definition and Rare Facts

If you wonder what is pocorn lung, and how it can be connected with smoking or even vaping, this article is right for you!

The problem got its nickname because of the chemical diacetyl, a buttery flavored chemical that was commonly present in microwave popcorn. After workers at the factories that produced microwave popcorn began to have symptoms related to bronchiolitis obliterans after inhaling diacetyl, manufacturers removed it from their products.

While diacetyl is no further a threat from microwaved popcorn, many are increasingly being confronted with it through e-cigarette vapor. Diacetyl is often included with “e-juice” liquid by some e-cigarette companies to fit flavorings such as for instance vanilla, maple, coconut, and more. In reality, recent studies have discovered that a lot more than 75 percent of flavored e-cigarettes and refill liquids tested positive for diacetyl

So how does diacetyl cause popcorn lung? Your lungs are where your blood receives oxygen before carrying it to cells in the remainder of the human body through tiny air sacs called alveoli. Exposure to diacetyl can irritate or scar the alveoli, causing inflammation or narrowing, making it difficult for them to deliver oxygen to your blood.

The main apparent symptoms of popcorn lung are a dried cough and shortness of breath. These arrive between two weeks and two months after you've been around a dangerous gas or had an illness. You're especially likely to own them after exercising or heavy labor.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Flu-like illness with fever
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Weight reduction
  • Wheezing
  • Eye, skin, mouth, or nose irritation, if due to chemical exposure

Popcorn lung is often misdiagnosed as asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema. To diagnose popcorn lung, your doctor will order an X-ray, CT scan, or a surgical lung biopsy. Your doctor could also desire to measure your lung function by conducting a pulmonary function test.

Unfortunately, there's no cure for popcorn lung, but you will find treatments to help alleviate the observable symptoms or slow the progression of the disease. Treatment methods include prescription corticosteroids, cough suppressants, bronchodilators to open the airways or immunosuppressant therapy to decrease your own body's immune response. In severe cases, oxygen supplementation might be needed. If left untreated, popcorn lung could be fatal in certain cases.

The simplest way to stop developing popcorn lung is to avoid the experience of harmful chemicals like diacetyl, present in e-cigarettes.