Repeated and long-term exposure to certain irritants on the job can lead to an array of lung diseases that may have lasting effects, even after exposure ceases. Certain occupations, because of the nature of their location, work, and environment, are more at risk for occupational lung diseases than others. Contrary to a popular misconception, coal miners are not the only ones at risk for occupational lung diseases. For instance, working in a car garage or textile factory can expose a person to hazardous chemicals, dusts, and fibers that may lead to a lifetime of lung problems if not properly diagnosed and treated.
Consider these statistics :
Occupational lung diseases are the primary cause of occupation-associated illness . based on frequency, severity, and preventability of the illnesses.
Most occupational lung diseases are caused by repeated, long-term exposure, but even a severe, single exposure to a hazardous agent can damage the lungs.
Occupational lung diseases are preventable.
- Smoking can increase both the severity of an occupational lung disease and the risk of lung cancer.
How are occupational lung diseases diagnosed?
Access your Symptoms :
The following are the most common symptoms of lung diseases, regardless of the cause. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Shortness of breath
Abnormal breathing pattern
The symptoms of occupational lung diseases may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.
Consider simple questions:
that can assist in determining if a condition may be work-related
- “What kind of work do you do?”
- “Are you now or have you previously been exposed to dusts, fumes, chemicals, radiation, or loud noise?”
- “Are your symptoms better or worse when you are at work?”
- “Do you think your health problems are related to your work?”
If the initial evaluation raises the suspicion that the disease is related to the workplace, please visit to doctor.
Occupational lung diseases, like other lung diseases, usually require an initial chest X-ray or CT scan for a clinical diagnosis. In addition, various tests may be performed to determine the type and severity of the lung disease, including:
Pulmonary function tests. Diagnostic tests that help to measure the lungs’ ability to move air into and out of the lungs effectively. The tests are usually performed with special machines into which the person must breathe.
Microscopic examination from biopsy or autopsy of tissue, cells, and fluids from the lungs
Biochemical and cellular studies of lung fluids
Measurement of respiratory or gas exchange functions
Examination of airway or bronchial activity