People who are dealing with medical conditions often comfort themselves with the thought that, “Time heals.” In many instances, this is true. People can and do fully recover from some devastating injuries and medical conditions if given enough time. But, this is not always the case. And, for people suffering from “popcorn lung” disease, it may not be true.
What is popcorn lung disease?
“Popcorn lung disease” is the nickname given to a serious disease that has impacted microwave popcorn plant workers and flavorings plant workers for years. Victims of popcorn lung disease suffer from a respiratory disease caused by inhaling or ingesting a chemical found in the substance used to flavor microwave popcorn. Now, the disease seems to be striking microwave popcorn consumers, too.
Victims have developed an obstructive lung disease called constrictive bronchiolitis obliterans. The smallest airways in these victims’ lungs (the bronchioles) become scarred and constricted. Once constricted, air cannot easily flow through the bronchioles.
Symptoms of popcorn lung disease
People who suffer medical problems stemming from microwave popcorn exposure have varying ranges of problems. The main symptoms people experience are coughing, wheezing, and worsening shortness of breath. Usually, these symptoms appear gradually and progressively. Sometimes, however, severe symptoms occur suddenly. Some people may experience fever, night sweats, and weight loss.
Some victims experience other medical concerns. They may experience persistent eye, nose, throat, or skin irritation. Some may experience chemical eye burns. Others may develop new-onset asthma or encounter exacerbation of pre-existing asthma.
Time does not heal.
If a microwave popcorn consumer suspects he or she may have developed popcorn lung disease or another complication related to exposure to microwave popcorn, he or she should consult with a doctor. A doctor can perform specialized tests to identify the condition. Unfortunately, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control, most people have shown little or no response to medical treatment. While affected people generally notice a gradual reduction of coughing years after they are no longer exposed to the chemical, abnormalities on lung function tests and shortness of breath on exertion still persist. Sadly, several people who suffer from this condition have been placed on lung transplant waiting lists.
This news can be devastating to a person suffering from popcorn lung disease and to the person’s family. We like to believe that time will heal our problems. Sadly, for those impacted by this disease, that is not likely to be the case.
Do you believe popcorn lung disease has affected your health? Contact our Chicago, Illinois personal injury attorneys.
If you believe that you have been injured after exposure to microwave popcorn, you may want to contact the Chicago, Illinois personal injury attorneys at Ankin Law Office LLC. We will consult with you and let you know if we believe you have a valid claim. If so, we may be able to help you pursue that claim. You may contact our attorneys by telephone at (312) 600-0000 or by email.