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Dr Uzair
Dr Uzair, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 7965
Experience:  MBBS, FCPS (R) General Surgery. Years of experience in Emergency Medicine.
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Dry cough and chest irritation from western red cedar I work

Customer Question

Dry cough and chest irritation from western red cedar I work in a sawmill
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr Uzair replied 1 year ago.

Hi and thanks for the query.

The respiratory tract is vulnerable to occupational hazards.

This includes exposure to organic and inorganic dusts generated from various industries especially saw dust.

The saw dust acts an irritant to the respiratory tract and this irritation causes pulmonary symptoms like cough and chest infections as well.

The best course of action is to see your PCP, have your chest examined and a chest x ray should be done to rule out any injury to the lungs. If there is anything of concern found then a referral to the pulmonologist should be made for Pulmonary Function Tests and to rule out Asthma - which is a common condition found in saw mill workers. If there are any signs of bronchospasm or asthma, then steroid and bronchodilator inhalers will be prescribed to you.

Wearing protective face masks have shown to decrease the symptoms by several folds. Steam nebulizations four times a day with menthol will also promote expectoration of irritants, humidify the respiratory tract and soothe the throat.

Hope this helps.

Expert:  Dr Uzair replied 1 year ago.

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Best wishes.