A healthcare provider may carry out the following procedures to assist diagnose pneumonitis.

  • Physical examination: Your healthcare provider will examine your symptoms, review your medical history, and they will listen closely to your lungs when you breathe during the physical examination using a stethoscope. You’ll probably get one or more of the following tests to rule out pneumonia from other lung conditions.
  • Blood tests: Specific blood tests are helpful in making a diagnosis. A small blood sample from an arm vein will be drawn by the healthcare provider using a tiny needle. After that, a lab will get your sample to determine whether your blood responds to any particular allergies.
  • Imaging tests: Imaging tests are helpful because, whereas noninfectious pneumonitis frequently affects all five lobes of the lung, pneumonia typically only affects a small, localized part of the lung.
    • Chest X-ray: In order to create images of your lungs, a little quantity of radiation must flow through your chest during this painless procedure. X-rays may be completed in a matter of minutes.
    • Computerized tomography (CT): CT scans provide comprehensive cross-sectional images by combining X-ray images from various angles. Lying on a small table that slips inside a big, doughnut-shaped machine is the painless test. CT scans may be completed in less than 15 minutes on average. Compared to a chest X-ray, computerized tomography provides far more detailed information about changes in your lungs.
  • Spirometry tests: Spirometry is a test that determines how much air you can breathe in and out in a predetermined length of time. The effectiveness of your lungs’ ability to transport gases from the air into your bloodstream during exercise may also be measured by your healthcare provider.
  • Spirometer: The capacity of your lungs to hold air and the rate at which you can exhale are measured with a spirometer.
  • Pulse oximeter: Using an oximeter, a device that gently clamps on your finger, you may test the amount of oxygen in your blood and determine how well your lungs are functioning.
  • Bronchoscopy: A flexible tube is inserted down your throat during a bronchoscopy operation to inspect your airways and take lung samples.

Your healthcare provider may use a saltwater solution to flood a portion of your lung during a bronchoscopy in order to gather materials and lung cells. A lavage is the term for this flushing process. In order to take a little sample of lung tissue cells for testing, your healthcare provider could also use a tiny instrument that is inserted via the scope.

  • Surgical lung biopsy: Larger tissue samples from many areas of your lungs that cannot be accessed with a bronchoscopy may occasionally be examined by your healthcare provider. To get these samples, a surgical operation could be required.


If you’re diagnosed with hypersensitivity or chemical pneumonitis, your healthcare provider will recommend avoiding contact with the allergen or chemical exacerbating your lung condition. Following this advice should lead to a reduction in your symptoms. Preventing worsening of pneumonitis is paramount for effective treatment. Additionally, your healthcare provider may recommend the following medications or treatments:

  • Medication:
    • Corticosteroids: These medications function by inhibiting your immune system, which lowers lung inflammation. Typically, corticosteroids are administered as pills. On the other hand, prolonged use of corticosteroids raises your risk of infection and is linked to osteoporosis, a condition that thins the bones.
    • Antifibrotic: Antifibrotic medications assist in reducing lung scarring. Your healthcare provider could recommend nintedanib or pirfenidone.
  • Oxygen therapy: In cases where breathing difficulties are significant, oxygen therapy may be necessary, administered through a mask or plastic tubing inserted into the nostrils. While some individuals may require continuous oxygen treatment, others may only need it during periods of exertion or while sleeping.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation: Together with your healthcare provider, you will design an exercise regimen during pulmonary rehabilitation to help strengthen your lungs.
  • Lung transplant: Your healthcare provider could advise replacing one or both of your lungs with the healthy lungs of a donor if you have severe pneumonitis that develops into pulmonary fibrosis.