Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care warning signs wheezing Outlook Underlying Cause Anatomy

Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis Home Care

Home care for allergic alveolitis includes:

  • Avoid substances that trigger allergies.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Avoid exposure to secondary smoke.
  • Ask your doctor if cough medication is right for you.
  • Do not use a vacuum indoors:
    • Ask someone else in your household to vacuum.
    • Use a dust mask if you must vacuum.
  • Avoid food color.
  • Avoid substances that trigger your wheezing
  • Clean heating and cooling ducts in the house.
  • Do not use aerosols or spray cleaners in the bedroom.
  • Install allergy filters in the heating and cooling system:
    • Change them once per month.
  • Place plastic covers over mattresses and pillows.
  • Remove carpeting.
  • Remove stuffed furniture and stuffed animals from the bedroom.
  • Use a dehumidifier to keep humidity below 50 percent.
  • Wash all bed linens in hot water every week.
  • Wear an alert bracelet that identifies your allergies.
  • Do not go outside when it is windy. This increases your exposure to pollen.
  • Do not sleep on upholstered furniture.
  • Do not mow or rake your lawn.
  • Take your medications as directed:
    • Don't skip doses of your medication. This makes them less effective.
    • Avoid running out of your medication. Refill your prescriptions early.
    • Don't stop taking your medication just because you feel better.
    • If you feel worse, talk to your doctor before you stop your medication.
    • Be aware of the common side effects that may be caused by your medication.
    • Do not stop prescription medications without talking to your doctor.

Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have allergic alveolitis and any of the following:

Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis Wheezing

Home care for mild wheezing in a person with allergic alveolitis includes:

  • Avoid exposure to smoke.
  • Avoid cough medicine.
  • Avoid sedative medications.
  • Avoid substances that trigger wheezing.
  • Drink plenty of liquids to remain hydrated.
  • Place a vaporizer or nebulizer in the bedroom at night.

Home care for those who take medication for wheezing includes:
  • Follow asthma home care instructions.
  • Learn to use prescribed inhalers correctly.
  • Use short-acting inhalers every 20 minutes, or as directed by your doctor.
  • Long-acting medications must be used regularly.
  • Learn to use a peak flow meter.
  • Know the peak flow danger zones.
  • Develop a strategy for using your inhaler based on your PEFR reading
  • Stay calm during a wheezing attack.

Peak Flow Zones:
  • Green Zone:
    • A PEFR reading that is 80-100% of personal best represents good control
  • Yellow Zone:
    • A PEFR reading that is 50-80% of personal best represents a moderate attack
  • Red Zone:
    • A PEFR reading that is less than 50% of personal best represents a severe attack and may identify the need for treatment in an emergency department.

Continue to Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis Outlook

Last Updated: Nov 29, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis References
  1. Greenberger PA. Mold-induced hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2004 Jul-Aug;25(4):219-23. [15510579]
  2. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2004 Jul-Aug;25(4 Suppl 1):S40-1. [15515377]
  3. Miranowski AC, Grammer LC. Occupational immunologic lung disease. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2004 Jul-Aug;25(4 Suppl 1):S36-7. [15515375]
  4. Selman M. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis: a multifaceted deceiving disorder. Clin Chest Med. 2004 Sep;25(3):531-47, vi. [15331190]
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