Bronchiolitis Obliterans
Popcorn Packers Lung
ExitCare ImageBronchiolitis Obliterans is a disease that seems to be produced by the inhaling of butter flavoring vapors. It appears in workers in popcorn making plants where the butter flavoring is used. It is thought that the diacetyl in the flavoring over a period of time causes this disease. It is destruction and scarring of the small airways of the lungs. As the scarring and hardening of the lungs gets worse, it becomes harder to breathe.
This disease is similar to emphysema, which can be caused by smoking. But bronchiolitis obliterans patients usually have normal oxygen exchange in their lungs. Emphysema patients do not.
This condition is essentially irreversible and treatment is mainly supportive. The lungs can never return to normal. But there are measures you can take which will improve them and make you feel better.
SYMPTOMS
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Chronic bronchitis.
  • Exercise intolerance, worsens with exertion.
  • Long lasting cough.
  • Asthma.
DIAGNOSIS
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Document Released: 03/20/2007 Document Re-Released: 11/30/2009
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