Posted by: Simpiwe | 2009-08-13


Early this year I was diagnosed with this lung disease. All tests were done including HIV test and I was found to be negative. Upon my return from the hospital my wife presented the same symptoms and was also admitted. All tests were done and all were negative. Since we are not related heredity (if there is such a word was ruled out). The doctors concluded that there must have been something that triggered the illness. I have always suspected that this may have been caused by our wooden ceiling that was painted using a vanish paint. For some reason (even before this) we had noted that the dust in our room was very dark (brownish) - more like the colour of the ceiling. We have since moved from that room and have stopped the taking the prednisone that had been prescribed. My concern is that the short breath and the dry cough still persist (one week one is fine and the other it is a struggle climbing up a few stairs), and I am wondering how long will this persist. It has also been said that it is not advisable to take these steroids for a long time, what is the alternative as they do provide relief after a week or so of taking them? We have not done anything about the room (it is just empty) and one can still see the dust. What or whom can we contact to test these particles (if indeed they are the cause of our illness)? Your response will be appreciated.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Dear Simpiwe


1. for interstitial pneumonitis it may be necessary to take corticosteroids for a prolonged time - one should weigh up the pro's and the con's and if the need for the medication is bigger than possible side effects, you should take it as prescribed.
2. I think a toxocology lab/forensic lab would be the best place to test the particles - ask your GP to find out for you whether you have such a lab in your area. The chemistry department of an university would probably also be able to test this.

Dr Bets

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