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What are the signs and symptoms of black lung disease?

On Behalf of | Oct 31, 2018 | Workplace Illness |

As previous posts here have highlighted, occupational illnesses can impact workers in Ohio suddenly. These illnesses can be severe, resulting in ongoing medical care. In some cases, this means missing an extended period of time from work, as it takes time to address these medical problems. However, even with ongoing medical treatment, some employees miss too much work, causing financial harms.

Black lung disease is an occupational illness that is a common condition suffered by coalminers. This disease is the result of continued inhalation of coal dust. As these dust particles accumulate in the lungs, they inhibit the lung’s ability to take in oxygen, release carbon dioxide and perform the oxygen and carbon dioxide switch in the blood.

Not all coalminers will show signs of black lung disease. However, about one out of every 20 miners will have an X-ray that will show signs of the disease. What are the signs and symptoms of black lung disease? Common symptoms include chronic cough, shortness of breath, chest pain and chest congestion. However, a person can suffer from this disease without the presentation of symptoms. This is why it is imperative that X-rays are done to rule out this serious condition.

There is no way to reverse the damage of inhaled coal dust and there is no treatment for this condition. Nonetheless, there are treatments that are focused on decreasing the likelihood of further damage to the lungs. This can help improve a person’s quality of life, helping them return to work.

Those suffering from an occupational disease should take the time to fully understand their situation. Workers’ compensation can be very beneficial for workers suffering from a workplace illness. This can help address medical bills, lost wages and other losses.