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Pulmonary Fibrosis

Exposures

11/02/2009

Question:

question 1. If you are in an exposure of fiberglass dust and high fumes and it has caused occupational asthma and bronchitis; reactive airway disease; exercise enduced asthma; Hypofunctional voice disorder, would this also cause obstructive sleep apnea? question 2. What other health problems have been associated with this type of exposure?

Answer:

I am not aware that fiberglass exposure causes sleep apnea. Fiberglass most commonly causes skin and airway irritation. Airway irritation usually manifests as cough. In some patients with asthma, fiberglass may worsen asthma until the body clears the fiberglass particles out. Most patients with lung irritation from fiberglass recover completely. The most common causes of sleep apnea are obesity, heart failure and certain neck shapes.

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Response by:

James N Allen, Jr, MD James N Allen, Jr, MD
Clinical Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University