What is pneumoconiosis?

Miners face a higher risk of respiratory illnesses because of their persistent exposure to dust, exhaust and other harmful allergens. Pneumoconiosis is one of these respiratory illnesses.

Workers who understand the symptoms of this illness can better protect themselves from worsening health problems. They can also take a more proactive approach to preventative safety.

Chronic illness

Pneumoconiosis is a chronic illness that impacts your ability to breathe. It affects your lungs and can dangerously impair their function if not diagnosed and dealt with in a timely manner. According to WebMD, constant ingestion of dust can cause your pleural space to fill with fluid. As a result, you may experience a persistent cough and shortness of breath. You may also continually cough up large amounts of mucus.

The literal meaning of pneumoconiosis is “dusty lung.” Health care experts commonly refer to the condition as “black lung.” Serious cases of the disease can cause permanent disability and shorten your lifespan. Taking proactive measures to protect your respiratory health can help you prevent a dangerous case of pneumoconiosis. Wear proper safety equipment and get regular health screenings to assess your lung function and efficiency.

Managing symptoms

Treating your pneumoconiosis does not mean removing the dust in your lungs. However, you will need to undergo treatments to improve and support your lung function. Part of your treatment may require you to discontinue your work in the mining field. Treatment options may include regular oxygen therapy. Your health care provider may also prescribe the use of a bronchodilator or a corticosteroid to provide relief from your symptoms.