Pneumoconiosis is a medical disorder that affects the lungs causing lung disease. It is usually caused by inhaling or breathing in kinds of dust particle that will cause damage to the lungs. Pneumoconiosis is also considered an occupation lung disease because it is only at work where you may likely inhale harmful dust. The disorder takes time to develop. It usually takes years before the first symptoms appear. Since the lungs cannot remove all the inhaled dust particles, these dusts will cause inflammation on the lung tissue which will become to scar tissue. When your lungs are full of scar tissues, it will be hard for the lungs to expand when breathing in and hard to exhale since the tissues of the lungs are now hard.
There are several forms of Pneumoconiosis. It will depend on the type of dust that was inhaled in the lungs. Examples are:
Black lung disease – this is the most common form of pneumoconiosis. It is also known as a miner’s lung. It is developed by breathing in coal dust.
Brown lung disease – can be caused by inhaling dust from cotton or other fibers.
Popcorn lung – it is caused by inhaling diacetyl, a compound used to give move popcorns its buttery flavor.
Other types of dust that can also cause lung disease are silica and asbestos.
No matter what form of pneumoconiosis a person develops, it is categorized according to its severity: simple and complicated pneumoconiosis. The simple type only causes a small amount of scar tissue. When an X-ray is performed, the scar tissue will appear as a round, thickened areas and it is called nodules. The complicated form is more progressive and will cause many scarring in the lungs.
No matter what category of pneumoconiosis an individual may suffer, it will cause loss of blood vessels and air sacs in the lungs which causes difficulty of breathing. The condition is now called interstitial lung disease.
The symptoms of pneumoconiosis will depend on the severity of the each case. However, the typical symptoms include:
- Excessive coughing
- There is excessive production of mucus
- Shortness of breath
People who are at risk in developing pneumoconiosis, are the ones exposed to harmful dust particles every day and for long periods of time. Smoking can also increase the chance of developing pneumoconiosis.
The condition could no longer be cured. Once you have pneumoconiosis the treatment is aimed at managing the symptoms and to prevent symptoms from getting worse.
If you think you are suffering from Pneumoconiosis you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Pneumoconiosis as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).