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Definition of «Air-conditioner lung»

Air-conditioner lungAir-conditioner lungAir-conditioner lung

Air-conditioner lung: A form of the sick building syndrome caused by organisms that contaminate humidifiers and the piping of air conditioner ducts. The air conditioner blows cold air containing spores of the organisms throughout the building.

The organisms responsible for air-conditioner lung are the same as cause farmer's lung which is due to repeated inhalation of dust from hay. (The organisms are thermophilic actinomycetes).

The symptoms of air-conditioner lung include episodes of fever, chills, cough, and shortness of breath, typically occurring 4 to 8 hours after reexposure. Loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting may also be present.

The diagnosis of air-conditioner fever is made based on a history of exposure to air conditioning and consistent clinical features, chest x-ray findings, and pulmonary function tests. Confirmation comes from laboratory results showing exposure to thermophilic actinomycetes and other organisms known to cause air-conditioner fever.

Treatment is avoidance of offending organism from the air conditioner. Symptoms usually subside within hours, although complete recovery may take weeks.

Repeated bouts of air-conditioner fever can result in pulmonary fibrosis with cough, fatigue, and weight loss and progression that sometimes requires hospitalization.

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