Type of disease: Rare conditions

Byssinosis, also known as brown lung disease, is caused by exposure to cotton dust that blocks the small airways in the lungs. Symptoms include chest tightness, cough, and wheezing, and tend to get worse at the beginning of the work week and improve as the week goes on. It is diagnosed through a physical exam, a chest x-ray, and lung function tests. To treat byssinosis, exposure to the dust must be prevented. In severe cases, a doctor may prescribe steroids, nebulizers, or home oxygen therapy.

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