The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Coal worker’s pneumoconiosis, also known as black lung disease, is an occupational lung condition that most commonly affects miners and other workers who have inhaled coal dust for an extended period of time. This interstitial lung disease occurs when dust from graphite, coal or man-made carbon builds up in the lungs over time and the lungs become visibly blackened. This dust buildup in the lungs can lead to extensive damage, including injury to the walls of the air sacs which then inhibit the exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide, a stiffening of the lungs that decreases the lungs’ ability to expand with oxygen, and very poor lung function in general.
There are two forms of coal worker’s pneumoconiosis:
- Simple coal worker’s pneumoconiosis — Because this is the early form of the disease, there may be very few symptoms, if any. It is often characterized by clusters of nodules within the lungs that have formed where the coal dust has built up.
- Progressive massive fibrosis — When exposure to coal dust is prolonged, the disease can progress to the development of massive fibrosis in the lungs, which greatly affects lung function.
Symptoms of coal worker’s pneumoconiosis vary from person to person but most often include shortness of breath, chronic cough, increased mucus production, pulmonary hypertension and decreased lung function. The severity of this condition is dependent upon how long an individual was exposed to the dust and the amount of coal dust that was inhaled during that time.
The treatment approach for a patient with this lung disease will depend on the patient’s particular symptoms and how far the condition has progressed. Common traditional treatment options include medication aimed at keeping the airways open and reducing mucus production, oxygen therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation. If you haven’t been able to find relief through these conservative methods, the Lung Institute offers an innovative treatment solution for coal worker’s pneumoconiosis through stem cell therapy. Unlike many other options that only address the symptoms of the disease, stem cell therapy has been proven to potentially slow the progression of black lung disease, increase lung function and improve a patient’s quality of life.
If you’ve been diagnosed with coal worker’s pneumoconiosis and would like to explore alternative and natural treatment options that could help you find relief from your symptoms, call the Lung Institute today at (800) 729-3065 to learn more about our stem cell therapy treatment.