Popcorn lung is a rare health condition which leads to scarring of the airway because of inflammation and it eventually causes lung damage. This medical condition gradually damages the bronchioles which are the smallest airways of the lungs. Inflammation, over a long span of time is related to popcorn lung which leads to airways and tissues to narrow down and scar thereafter causing difficulties in breathing. Popcorn lung is a disease which gets its name from diacetyl, a chemical which was largely used to give a buttery taste to food products like popcorn. In fact, this condition was initially detected among the workers in a factory where they constantly inhaled diacetyl.
There is no evidence that electronic cigarettes or vaping could cause this lung condition called ‘popcorn lung’ as the root cause of this disorder is entirely different. In fact there have been no such cases of popcorn lung among vapers who vaped e-cigs.
Dangers and symptoms of popcorn lung
One of the biggest dangers of detecting popcorn lung is that the symptoms are almost similar to different sorts of other lung disorders like BOOP (bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia) or asthma. Few common symptoms of popcorn lung include:
- Shortness of breath
- Dry cough
You will be aware of the fact that there are several other lung disorders which cause similar symptoms and this is why popcorn lung can often be left undiagnosed and inappropriately treated. This aggravates the scarring and damage which causes this disease to soar out of control.
What is the connection between vaping and popcorn lung?
There was one study done in the US in the year 2015 which researched on the link between e-cigarette and popcorn lung. While their main purpose was to find out whether e-cigarette liquid contained diacetyl, it was found out that 40 of the 55 e-liquid flavors tested in the same year comprised of some level of diacetyl. From there came the idea that popcorn lung was in some way related to vaping.
However this particular study didn’t take into account the fact whether or not there was a correlation between the use of e-cigs and developing popcorn lung in people. So far, there is no evidence on the association between the two. E-cigarettes don’t contain diacetyl and hence they’re in no way related to causing popcorn lung.
If you wish to prevent popcorn lung, you should avoid causing damage to your lungs. Regardless of whether you’re a smoker or a vaper, anything that you inhale apart from fresh air injures your lungs. So, ditching smoking is probably the best way to stop hurting your lungs and prevent developing diseases like popcorn lung.