Know All About Occupational Lung Diseases

Posted On Feb 15, 2023

5 Min Read

Dr. Uday Kiran G

Consultant - Pulmonary Medicine, Respiratory Sciences

Vijayawada

Occupational Lung Diseases Treatment in Vijayawada

Occupational lung diseases are lung illnesses that have been brought on by or made worse by prolonged exposure to specific irritants at work. Dust particles, chemicals, fungal spores, and specific animal droppings are examples of exposures that may increase your risk of occupational lung disease. 

Due to the nature of their employment, environment, and location, some occupations are more susceptible to occupational lung diseases than others. Contrary to popular belief, not only coal miners are susceptible to occupational lung illnesses. For instance, exposure to dangerous chemicals, dust, and fibres while working in a vehicle garage or textile mill might result in a lifetime of lung issues if not appropriately identified and treated.

Occupational lung diseases are incurable. Our quality of life can be improved by limiting our exposure to lung irritants, receiving therapy, and slowing the progression of the condition. Visit a top hospital for occupational lung disease treatment in Vijayawada

Types of Occupational Lung Disease

There are various types of occupational lung disease, including:

  • Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis is also referred to as Black Lung Disease.

  • Asbestosis

  • Silicosis

  • Byssinosis or Brown Lung Disease.

  • Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis.

  • Farmer’s Lung, also known as Allergic Alveolitis.

  • Occupational Asthma

  • Bronchitis

  • Emphysema

Causes of Occupational Lung Disease

  • People are more likely to experience this depending on their line of work. Working in a vehicle garage or a textile factory, for example, can expose you to hazardous chemicals, dust, and fibres. Additionally, there are unidentified genetic causes.

  • Repeated, prolonged exposure is the primary cause of the majority of occupational lung diseases. However, even a single serious exposure to a hazardous substance might harm the lungs. Smoking might worsen any lung conditions related to the workplace.

Symptoms of Occupational Lung Disease

Many physiological systems, including the lungs, can be harmed by exposure to irritants at work. Many of these symptoms can take years to manifest following exposure. Symptoms can differ from person to person. The following are typical signs of occupational lung diseases:

  • Coughing

  • Breathing difficulties that frequently worsen with activity.

  • Chest pain

  • Chest tightness

  • Abnormal breathing patterns.

  • Wheezing

  • Scratchy, dry, or sore throat.

The signs of lung ailments brought on by work often resemble those of other illnesses. For a diagnosis, one should always consult a healthcare professional.

Diagnosis of Occupational Lung Disease

Like other lung diseases, occupational lung disorders typically necessitate a chest X-ray or CT scan as part of the initial clinical diagnosis. To assess the kind and severity of the pulmonary disease, additional tests may be carried out, such as:

Pulmonary Functional Tests

Diagnostic procedures assess how efficiently the lungs transport air into and out of the lungs. Usually, specific equipment that requires breathing into it is used for the examination.

Chest X-Ray

It is a test that records images of the inside bones, organs, and tissues.

Bronchoscopy

In this examination, the bronchoscope, a flexible tube, is used to inspect the lungs' primary airways (the bronchi). A bronchoscopy aids in the diagnosis of lung issues, the search for obstructions, the removal of foreign bodies, or the removal of tissue or fluid samples. This test might consist of: 

  • Biopsy

During this test, small amounts of fluid, cells, or tissue are removed from the lung. It is then thoroughly examined under a microscope.

  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage

Cells from the lower respiratory tract are removed during this examination. This is carried out to help identify inflammation and rule out potential causes.

Blood Gas

This examination analyses oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood. 

Cellular and Biochemical Analysis of Lung Fluids

To check for potential infections and other issues additional blood tests might be performed.

Treatment of Occupational Lung Disease

Lung transplantation is the only known treatment for the majority of severely affected lungs. The use of medications, inhalers, and/or oxygen are just a few of the several treatment options. Treatments for occupational lung diseases mainly aim for:

  • Avoiding more exposure.

  • Limiting further lung scarring.

  • Management of symptoms.

  • Keeping oneself fit and active.

Consult a top pulmonologist in Vijayawada for diagnosis and treatment of occupational lung disease. 

How can occupational lung diseases be prevented?

Avoiding the inhaled chemicals that cause lung diseases is the best way to prevent occupational lung disorders. Other preventive actions include:

  • Avoid smoking since it can raise the risk of developing occupational lung disease.

  • When exposed to airborne dust and irritants, wear appropriate protective equipment, such as a face mask.

  • As frequently as the doctor advises, one should evaluate their lung function with spirometry (a test done in the doctor's office) to become comfortable with it.

  • Educating the workers regarding the hazards associated with lung diseases.

  • Attending recurrent safety seminars to learn how to reduce exposure to hazardous materials at work.

  • Checking our home for excessive radon levels (the second most common cause of lung cancer) is important, and if any are found, one should be careful to take mitigation measures.

  • Employing a specialist in occupational health to examine the workplace for signs of occupational lung disease risk

  • On days with poor air quality, one should stay indoors whenever possible.

  • Vaccinations for the flu, pneumonia, COVID-19 and other infectious respiratory diseases should be taken.

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