Silicosis has a number of unpleasant symptoms that can interfere with daily activities and diminish quality of life. This condition results from inhaling crystalline silica dust, which can cause scarring and inflammation within the lungs. This scarring stiffens the lungs and makes it difficult to breathe.
Silicosis is a form of pneumoconiosis, a lung disease that is caused by inhaling certain types of mineral dust. Other forms of pneumoconiosis include black lung disease, which results from inhaling coal mine dust, and siderosis, which results from inhaling iron particles. As with the other forms of pneumoconiosis, the symptoms of silicosis tend to gradually develop and worsen over time. In most cases, silicosis symptoms generally do not appear until at least 10 years following exposure to silica dust.
The symptoms of silicosis include the following:
- Chest pain/tightness
- Chronic coughing
- Cyanosis (blue coloring in the lips, fingernails or skin)
- Difficulty breathing
- Heart issues
- Increased production of mucus
- Leg swelling
- Loss of appetite
- Night sweats
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Quickened breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Weight loss
In addition to troublesome symptoms, silicosis can produce a variety of other health issues. For instance, silicosis is associated with an elevated risk of developing tuberculosis, as silica is thought to interfere with how the immune system responds to the bacteria that causes tuberculosis. Silicosis can also increase the risk of developing chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), connective tissue disease, lung cancer, lung infections, renal disease, respiratory failure, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma and systemic lupus erythematosus.
At the Lung Institute, we offer cellular therapy that aims to go beyond simply treating the symptoms of silicosis. Our innovative treatment, a minimally invasive procedure that uses cells from the patient’s own body, has the potential to slow the progression of the disease itself. A majority of people who undergo our cellular therapy report an improvement in their quality of life. If you’re interested in learning more about our alternative cellular therapy, please contact us today at (800) 729-3065. We look forward to helping you breathe easier.