It Is Possible to Live a Normal Life After Being Diagnosed with Silicosis

old-man-with-silicosisSilicosis may be considered an environmental disease because it results from people working or living in conditions that promote this lung disease. Certain industry workers are at high risk of developing silicosis and need constant monitoring to prevent the spread of the disease.

There is no known cure for silicosis, and it is widely felt by medical experts that prevention is the best way to avoid falling a prey to this disease. While modern medicine may not have, as yet, found a cure for this lung ailment, many techniques for testing have made it easier for doctors to chart the progress of the disease. Medicines are given to reduce sputum production, while severe cases may be treated with oxygen or inhaled steroids. Broncho-dilators also help in relaxing the air tubes.

The advance of this diseases requires doctors to pay attention to managing the disease and this can require a multidisciplinary approach. The patient has to be kept away from any things that can irritate the lungs, like smoke, allergens, and pollution. Working in the industry that has caused the disease must be completely avoided.  Treatment with steroids, and lung transplants are considered in serious cases.

In earlier times X-rays were used to understand the condition of the lungs, but these results often showed normal lungs, even when they were badly scarred. Doctors suspect silicosis if the person has been working in a high-risk industry where there been a lot of exposure to silica, asbestos or other irritants. Evaluation of the sputum helps doctors to spot lung scarring and the presence of silicosis. Breathing tests allow doctors to determine lung function and the possibility of silicosis. C T scans of the test carried out at high resolution can also detect lung scarring resulting from silicosis. In extreme cases, biopsies may be conducted of the lung to determine the progression of the disease. Nowadays doctors are able to introduce cameras into lungs through a bronchoscopy that allows them to directly look at the condition of the lung tissues.

Patients suffering from silicosis can live active lives, if  they avoid any further exposure to the irritants that caused the silicosis. They also need to refrain from smoking, avoid polluted places and monitor their general health and weight. Regular checkups can also help to help them live productive lives. Early detection can go a long way in ensuring survival.