Black Lung Symptoms
Black lung disease can have a variety of symptoms depending on how far the condition has progressed. In many cases, individuals with black lung do not experience any noticeable symptoms in the early stages of the disease, although they may be more susceptible to developing respiratory tract infections, such as bronchitis, during this time. This early period is commonly referred to as asymptomatic anthracosis. Over time, however, individuals affected by the condition may develop chronic coughing and shortness of breath, along with the following:
- Airway obstruction
- Increased production of mucus/sputum
- Pain while breathing
- Pulmonary hypertension
When left untreated, or with continued exposure to coal mine dust, the condition can continue to progress and cause further complications. For instance, an afflicted individual may begin to cough up blood (hemoptysis) or produce black mucus (melanoptysis). The resulting lung damage may lead to the development of chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer or respiratory failure.
If an individual with black lung disease also has rheumatoid arthritis, he or she may develop Caplan’s syndrome, which, in addition to the above-listed symptoms, may lead to painful and swollen joints and the development of round nodules throughout the lungs. Overall, individuals with black lung experience a significant decrease in their quality of life.
If you’re living with black lung disease and dealing with its impactful symptoms, you may be interested in stem cell therapy. Please contact the Lung Institute at (800) 729-3065 to learn how our innovative stem cell treatment may be able to help relieve your symptoms and potentially even slow the progression of the disease. Our goal is to help you breathe easier, and our knowledgeable team is fully equipped to answer any questions you may have.