I am new to this forum, and looking for help.
Recently, during a home renovation project, I had the misfortune to inhale some dust from old horsehair plaster, despite wearing what I thought was an acceptable respirator. Within hours I developed a burning tightness in my chest, and I knew something was wrong. Several days later I developed a dry cough, with metallic taste. No fever or other signs of illness. Never had asthma. Never smoked. Otherwise excellent health.
At 4 weeks I was examined by my primary family physician who said my lungs were clear. He measured pulmonary function and my test results were well above normal. Didn't need to repeat the testing with bronchodialator. I continued to have the dry cough for 6-8 weeks.
At 8 weeks I consulted with a respiratory specialist who confirmed lungs were clear, pulmonary function was well above normal. Chest X-Ray shows only mild hyperinflation, signs of asthma. I used fluticosone inhaler (Flovent in US) for 1-2 weeks with no apparent benefit.
Since this accident my airways feel as if they've been burned or like a sort of continual bronchitis. (And you might imagine I'm practically scared to death). Now at four months, the cough has mostly gone away, but I continue to have extremely irritated airways, with a constant need to clear my throat. Laughing and talking seem to cause further irritation. The discomfort starts deep in the airway and runs all the way up to my vocal cords. I have aching pain in my chest that comes and goes, possibly from all the clearing I've been doing. I usually sleep well at night with little or no discomfort. Days are definitely worse.
I have had a second respiratory doctor suggest something called Reactive Airway Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS) which is apparently a subcategory of Occupational Asthma (OA) but without the extended sensitization period typically seen with OA.
Does anybody have any experience with RADS/OA? Does anybody think my symptoms sound like adult onset / induced asthma?
Has anybody else experienced a similar illness due to inhalation injury of dust, etc?
Will I ever get better?
Thank you for any help or advice you could provide.