Causes of Black Lung Disease that Attacks the Lungs
“Black lung disease is a disease related to work, especially mining. Inhaling coal dust can cause harmful particles to settle in the airways and lungs, triggering inflammation.”
HalodocJakarta – Black lung disease can occur when coal dust is inhaled over a long period of time. Coal dust is made of harmful particles containing carbon that coal miners risk inhaling.
Coal miners can also be exposed to siliceous dust, because drilling is also carried out in siliceous rocks. More information about the cause black lung disease you can read it here!
Causes of Black Lung Disease
Although mining workers are more susceptible to this condition, not all workers will develop this disease. The increase in mining workers experiencing this disease is related to changes in mining technology.
This also allows for higher volumes of coal to be extracted in a short period of time. Changes in the mineral content of coal also make it more dangerous.
Black lung disease considered a work-related illness. When you inhale coal dust, the particles settle in your airways and lungs. While healthy lung tissue tries to get rid of it, the immune system tries to fight off and remove the particles that trigger inflammation.
Over time, this inflammation can lead to scarring, also known as fibrosis. The extent of the disease depends on how much dust is inhaled and for how long.
There are two types of this disease, namely the simple and the complicated. Black lung disease simple means the lungs have spots or scar tissue from dust particles. Whereas black lung disease a complicated one called progressive massive fibrosis (PMF), has multiple scars on his lungs.
Being exposed to coal particles or working in mining doesn’t necessarily make someone immediately suffer from this condition. It can take years or decades for the disease to develop.
Some people have no symptoms until they retire. In fact, most people are diagnosed after they turn 50. When symptoms start to appear, they will likely include:
- Cough, with or without black phlegm.
- Hard to breathe.
Black Lung Disease Diagnosis and Treatment Plan
To make a diagnosis, the doctor will use some information to diagnose this disease. The doctor will take a medical history and ask for details about exposure to coal dust.
Chances are the doctor will order a chest X-ray, CT scan, or both to see if there are spots or masses in the lungs or signs of inflammation. After that there will be a pulmonary function test, which shows how well the lungs are working.
So far there is no medicine to really treat this condition. Treatment generally aims to relieve symptoms, prevent further damage to the lungs, and improve quality of life.
Your doctor may prescribe medication to keep your airways open, especially if you have asthma symptoms. Oxygen may be prescribed if oxygen levels are low, especially when active or sleeping.
If you smoke, the doctor will ask you to stop. Smoking can cause further lung damage and can make symptoms worse. Your doctor may also recommend a pulmonary rehabilitation program to help you find ways to breathe better.
In very rare cases, the doctor may recommend a lung transplant. To complete the treatment plan, you will also be asked to avoid all dust exposure.
If you experience significant lung or respiratory problems, immediately make an appointment for a medical examination with a pulmonary specialist using the application Halodoc. Don’t have the app yet? come on, downloads Halodoc right now!
WebMD. Retrieved 2022. What Is Black Lung Disease?
American Lung Association. Accessed 2022. Learn About Coal Worker’s Pneumoconiosis.