Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms

Byssinosis Overview

What is byssinosis?
A person with byssinosis has a lung disease caused by breathing in cotton dust, or dust from vegetable fibers, such as flax, hemp or sisal. It can occur in those who work in these industries. Byssinosis is a form of reactive airways disease, similar to asthma.

What are the symptoms of byssinosis?
The symptoms of byssinosis include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, rapid breathing rate, and chest tightness. Symptoms are normally worse at the beginning of the workweek.

How does the doctor treat byssinosis?
Treatment for byssinosis includes the complete avoidance or reduction in exposure to thing plant matter that is causing the problem. Treatment may include bronchodilator medications, which normally improve symptoms. In more severe cases, corticosteroids may be prescribed. People with byssinosis should stop smoking immediately.

Continue to Byssinosis Symptoms

Last Updated: Dec 23, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Byssinosis References
  1. Wang X, Zhang HX, Sun BX, Dai HL, Hang JQ, Eisen E, Su L, Christiani DC. Cross-shift airway responses and long-term decline in FEV1 in cotton textile workers. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2008 Feb 1;177(3):316-20. [17975204]
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