Hypersensitivity pneumonitis usually occurs in people who work in places where there are high levels of organic dusts, fungus, or molds.
Long-term exposure can lead to lung inflammation and acute lung disease. Over time, the acute condition turns into long-lasting (chronic) lung disease.
Hypersensitivity pneumonitis may also be caused by fungi or bacteria in humidifiers, heating systems, and air conditioners found in homes and offices. Exposure to certain chemicals, such as isocyanates or acid anhydrides, can also lead to hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
Examples of hypersensitivity pneumonitis include:
Bird fancier's lung: This is the most common type of hypersensitivity pneumonitis. It is caused by repeated or intense exposure to proteins found in the feathers or droppings of many species of birds.
Farmer's lung: This type of hypersensitivity pneumonitis is caused by exposure to dust from moldy hay, straw, and grain.