Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, or black lung, is the result of consistent exposure to coal dust. Similar to the long-term effects of smoking tobacco, black lung is a progressive disease that is incurable. The coal dust builds up in the lungs over time as it is inhaled and causes inflammation, fibrosis and possibly necrosis.
When dealing with mineral dusts in high concentrations and for long periods of time, it is crucial to use personal protective equipment, such as respirators, to minimize risks and lessen the chances of severe and progressive damage that leads to black lung.
- Persistent cough – can be dry or produce mucus
- Shortness of breath – even during the simplest of tasks and at rest
- Hypoxemia – or low blood oxygen levels – this occurs when the disease impacts a large portion of the lungs and creates scarring that makes it difficult for oxygen to pass through and reach the blood
When these symptoms are ignored, or exposure to coal mine dust is continued, black lung can quickly progress. There is the chance of coughing up blood, or even black mucus, thanks to the coal dust turning the lungs black. As a result of this, a person can also come down with chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, respiratory failure or even lung cancer.
Cellular therapy as treatment for black lung
While there is no cure for black lung, there are certain treatments that may help reduce the inflammation in the lungs to help improve overall lung function. One of those treatments is the cellular therapy treatment offered at the Lung Health Institute. Our cellular therapy treatment for black lung helps to reduce inflammation in the lungs and promote the body’s natural healing ability by using the patient’s own cells.
If you have been diagnosed with black lung, contact the Lung Health Institute and speak to one of our patient coordinators today to learn more about our cellular therapy. We want to help you begin your journey to Breathing Easier.