Can You Get Silicosis from One Exposure?
Silicosis is a lung condition that falls under the pneumoconiosis umbrella. This occupational lung disease develops as a result of silica dust inhalation and most commonly affects miners, construction workers and other employees who are regularly exposed to mineral ores and rock such as quartz. The risk of developing silicosis depends on the amount of silica dust the worker is exposed to and how often the worker is exposed to the dust. While developing silicosis after only one exposure to silica is rare, it is possible. This is because the higher the exposure to silica, the less the lungs are able to naturally defend against the dust entering and settling within. Therefore, if a worker is exposed to a very high level of mineral dust only one time, he or she can still develop silicosis later down the road as a result of the silica settling in the lungs and causing damage.
There are many preventative measures a worker can take to reduce the risk of developing silicosis. These include:
- Wearing protective equipment, such as a respirator or face mask, when working near or with mineral dust
- Washing the face and hands directly after working with or near silica
- Using water sprays and ventilation systems when available
- Changing into clean clothing after working with or near silica
Once silicosis has developed, there is no way to reverse the damage done to the lungs. However, there are many treatment options that can help individuals alleviate symptoms. Some of the most common traditional silicosis treatments include medication, inhaled steroids or bronchodilators, oxygen therapy and quitting smoking.
As an alternative treatment for silicosis, the Lung Institute offers cellular therapy. This innovative approach utilizes autologous cells – or cells derived from the patient’s own body – to potentially slow the progression of silicosis, reduce lung inflammation and improve overall lung function. Because this option is completely natural, there is virtually no risk of rejection.
To learn more about the cellular therapy we offer as an alternative treatment option for silicosis, call the Lung Institute today at (800) 729-3065.