The symptoms of pneumoconiosis are generated by the body's reaction to the continuous inhalation of certain types of dust particles over a number of years.
The dust irritates the tissues of the lung, causing inflammation. Over time, this inflammation results in scarring, and this in turn hardens the affected tissues. As this process happens, a number of symptoms will gradually develop.
What are the symptoms of pneumoconiosis?
The symptoms that you develop will largely depend on the type of pneumoconiosis you have (in other words, it's dependent on what type of dust you inhaled). Symptoms of the disease can include:
- Shortness of breath (possibly due to emphysema)
- A chronic cough – with an increased risk of contracting chronic bronchitis
- Black sputum – predominantly associated with coal workers' pneumoconiosis, also known as black lung disease.
- Chest pain – sufferers often experience tightness
Severe cases, where there is a lot of scarring to the lungs, can lead to even more serious effects. These may also be a sign that the pneumoconiosis has developed into progressive massive fibrosis, a complication where there is a large mass of dense fibrosis in the lungs:
- Respiratory failure
- Problems with the heart – caused by pressure inside the lungs
Usually there is a long period between the time of the exposure to the dust particles and the onset of the symptoms. It can take as long as 40 years in some cases, meaning that in the early stages of the disease it's possible to not suffer any symptoms whatsoever.
This is why, if you do start to experience the above symptoms, your doctor will probably ask you about your employment history to see if you were ever employed in one of the industries at risk of pneumoconiosis.
Thinking about a compensation claim? Talk to an expert
The symptoms of pneumoconiosis can be severely distressing, and it is likely that if the root cause of your condition was caused, at least in part, by either a past workplace or one that you currently operate in, you will want some form of redress. Speaking to the right legal expert about claiming compensation could help put you at ease.
Thompsons Solicitors has helped many workers claim compensation for injuries and diseases that they have suffered as a result of their jobs, including pneumoconiosis. With our lawyers' expert, honest advice, you can be rest assured your case is in the best possible hands.
Call us today on 0800 0891331, and start your journey towards achieving a just outcome for you and your family.