What is Extrinsic Allergic Alveolitis (EAA)?
Extrinsic Allergic Alveolitis (EAA), also known as Farmer’s Lung, is an occupational lung disease. It is caused when a person’s lung tissue becomes inflamed due to coming in contact with certain proteins present in moldy hay, grain, compost, and other organic materials. EAA can cause the lungs to become increasingly restrictive and trigger a severe immune response.
What are the Symptoms of Extrinsic Allergic Alveolitis (EAA)?
The primary symptom of Extrinsic Allergic Alveolitis is a dry cough that can range from mild to severe. Other symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Fever and chills
- Weight loss
How is Extrinsic Allergic Alveolitis Diagnosed?
Extrinsic Allergic Alveolitis can be difficult to diagnose due to the similarity of its symptoms to those of other respiratory diseases, such as asthma. Diagnosis of EAA is typically done by exclusion, meaning that other potential causes of the symptoms are ruled out before a doctor can confirm a diagnosis. Other methods of diagnosing EAA can include:
- Chest X-Rays
- Spirometry Tests
- CT Scans
- Skin Prick Tests
What are Some Treatment Solutions for Extrinsic Allergic Alveolitis?
The primary treatment solution for Extrinsic Allergic Alveolitis is to avoid exposure to whatever is causing the allergy. For example, if EAA is caused by contact with hay, a farmer should remove themselves from the source and wear protective clothing when handling hay. In the event that avoidance is not possible, corticosteroid medications can be used to help manage the symptoms of EAA.
Maintaining Good Health with Extrinsic Allergic Alveolitis
It is important for those with EAA to maintain good health practices, even when their symptoms are under control. For example, getting plenty of rest, eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly can help to strengthen the lungs, enabling them to function at their best. Additionally, avoiding common colds and other respiratory illnesses can help reduce the risk of exacerbating any existing symptoms or conditions.