What is Byssinosis? – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatments

Byssinosis is also called

Brown lung disease or Monday fever

. This is an occupational lung disease. This is caused when an individual is more exposed to cotton dust in inadequate ventilated work spaces. This is mostly observed in employees who work in fabric and yarn industries. Byssinosis is sometimes called

Mill fever, Cotton bract disease and Cotton worker’s lung



Signs and symptoms of byssinosis include:

  • Wheezing
  • Breathing problems
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness


This mostly occurs in people working in textile industries. People breathing the dust produced by the raw cotton suffer from byssinosis. People who are more sensitive to dust can suffer from asthma-like condition. People suffering from asthma have difficulty in breathing, but in byssinosis signs and symptoms disappear by the end of the week. If exposed for long periods, symptoms continue for weeks without any improvement in the situation.

Preventing measures in United States reduced the byssinosis cases, but are common in developing countries. Smoking worsens the condition. Shortness of breath and chronic lung disease are caused if the patient is more exposed to dust.


Health care provider takes detailed information about the signs and symptoms of the disease. He then verifies whether they are related to certain other exposures. Lungs are carefully observed by the health care provider.

Other tests for byssinosis include:

  • Pulmonary function tests
  • X-rays


The only best treatment for byssinosis that is suggested by many health practitioners is to stop exposing to dust. Reduce dust levels in the factory by improving ventilation. Medications like bronchodilators improve symptoms. Corticosteroids are prescribed in acute conditions.

Smoking should be avoided by this patient. Respiratory treatments like nebulizers are prescribed in chronic condition. Home oxygen therapy is also suggested, if oxygen levels are less in blood.

Breathing exercises, patient education programs and physical breathing exercises are very useful for people suffering from chronic lung diseases.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *