Long-term and repeated exposure to certain chemicals and irritants on the job can lead to a number of occupational related lung diseases. Certain occupations bring with them unusually higher risks. Some of these occupations include coal miners, individuals who work in car repair, fire fighting, machinery, welding and textiles. Occupational lung diseases are the leading cause of work-related illness. Smoking increases the severity of this condition and exasperates symptoms and the progression of these diseases.
Repeated exposure to certain irritants. These irritants can include, but are not limited to: dust, asbestos, molds, ash, soot, exhaust, fires, mining, carbon oxides, etc.
Diseases that are caused by occupational lung disease will present a variety of symptoms that at times mirror pneumonia or lung cancer. Coughing, chest pain and/or tightness, shortness of breath and an abnormal breathing pattern are a few examples of the symptoms associated with occupational lung disease.
Treatment for occupational lung disease will depend on the type of disease that is actually diagnosed and the extent of the stage or progression of the disease. Medications, surgeries and procedures are available to help treat a variety of occupational-related lung diseases.