Popcorn Lung: Definition, 5 Causes, and Symptoms

By | January 21, 2020
Popcorn Lung

Wet lung, lung cancer, and pneumonia are some of lung diseases that you may already be familiar with. Well, have you heard of a popcorn lung disease before? With this unique name, might you wonder if this disease has anything to do with popcorn food. Read on to find out more reviews.

Called Popcorn lung disease because it is related to the process of making popcorn. Initially, it started from ancient workers who worked in the popcorn factory. They often use diacetyl chemicals used in the manufacture of such snacks.

Diacetyl is usually used to induce the aroma and flavor of butter (buttery) in the product of popcorn, caramelized, or dairy products. This substance does make food feel more delicious.

If the substance is inhaled continuously, it can make permanent lung damage. That is why the use of such substances has now been discontinued in the manufacture of popcorn.

In addition, Diacetyl is also widely contained in the electric Cigarette as a scent enhancer. National Institutes of Health, USA mentions that popcorn lung disease can also occur due to exposure to other substances, such as nitrogen oxide, chlorine, and ammonia. In fact, it can be due to viral or bacterial infections.

Read also: Water in lungs: The causes, symptoms, How to prevent and Treat it

What is a popcorn lung?

Bronchiolitis arteriosclerosis or, more familiarly known as popcorn lung is a condition when the smallest airway in the lungs (bronchioles) is narrowed due to injuries.

Normally, the Bronchiolus, which is the smallest branch of the Bronchus, is responsible for controlling the amount of air that comes in during the breathing process.

That is why, popcorn lung disease includes an emergency situation that can lead to difficulty breathing, due to the absence of exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the lungs.

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Causes of Popcorn Lung

Electric ciga**rettes

In addition, the increased risk of lung damage (popcorn lung) is also often associated as one of the dangerous long-term effects of using va**pe or electric ciga**rettes. Va**pe is often considered safer because it does not contain tobacco, but the chemicals on the Va**pe also have a bad impact on health.

Other ingredients that can cause the popcorn lungs is acetaldehyde, chemicals contained in the mari**juana  smoke and the electronic cigarette. It is also a material that can cause damage to the mouth, throat and stomach.

Other chemicals that can cause the popcorn lungs include:

  • Metal oxide fumes, the byproduct of ordinary welding uses
  • Formaldehyde, the chemical cause of cancer used in some products of glue and building materials
  • Sulfur dioxide, a pollution material released by burning fossil fuels
  • Chlorine
  • Ammonia
  • Nitrogen oxide
  • Hydrochloric acid
  • Sulfur Mustard – a chemical weapon known as mustard gas.

Other respiratory diseases, such as pneumonia and bronchitis

Sometimes the situation of bronchiolitis obliterans can occur after you suffer from serious illnesses affecting the lungs, for example health problems involving pneumonia or bronchitis.

Rheumatoid arthritis

There are also some individuals with rheumatoid arthritis that can also be a problem of this popcorn lung. It is as the side effect of these health problems.

Lung transplantation (as a form of rejection)

If you are undergoing a lung transplant procedure or a stem cell transplant procedure, you are also risky to experience this condition if your body is trying to reject the new organ. The problem is one of the main causes of death for individuals who perform lung transplant procedures.

3 Other Causes

Not only is it caused by chemicals, but Popcorn lung can also occur due to several things such as:

  • Viral infections, such as the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
  • Collagen vascular disease
  • Drug reactions

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What are the symptoms of this condition?

The popcorn lung disease is characterized by several things, such as:

  • Breathing sounds like a sigh.
  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing, especially after doing physical activity
  • Severe fatigue
  • Irregular breath
  • Experiencing skin, eye, mouth, or nose disorders (if the cause is a chemical).
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