Occupational Lung Diseases

Sometimes your job can do more than leave you tired at the end of the day. It can make you sick.

Your job shouldn’t leave you sick.

Job-Related Lung Problems

Sometimes your job can do more than leave you tired at the end of the day. It can make you sick. Repeated and long-term exposure to certain irritants on the job can lead to an array of lung diseases that may have lasting effects, even after exposure ceases.

Contrary to a popular misconception, coal miners aren’t the only ones at risk. For instance, if you work in a car garage or textile factory, you can be exposed to hazardous chemicals, dusts, and fibers that may lead to a lifetime of lung problems if not properly diagnosed and treated. Even one single, severe exposure to a hazardous agent can damage the lungs.

The Statistics

According to the American Lung Association, occupational lung diseases like mesothelioma, black lung and COPD are the primary cause of occupation-associated illness in the U.S. And it all can be prevented.

Regardless of the cause, at INTEGRIS Health, we’re dedicated to helping you breathe easier. Our multi-discipline team will do everything in their power to treat your breathing problem and help you breathe easier.

Understanding Occupational Lung Diseases

Symptoms of occupational lung disease differ depending on the root cause and which disease you’re suffering from. The following are symptoms common to most occupational lung diseases. However, you may experience symptoms differently – and these symptoms may resemble other conditions or medical problems, so it’s always best to talk with your doctor if you experience any of these:

  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Chest tightness
  • Abnormal breathing pattern

Occupational lung diseases, like other lung diseases, usually require an initial chest X-ray for preliminary diagnosis. In addition, various tests may be performed to determine the type and severity of the lung disease, including:

  • Pulmonary Function Tests: Diagnostic tests that help to measure the lungs' ability to move air into and out of the lungs effectively. The tests are usually performed with special machines into which you must breathe.
  • Microscopic Examination: Of tissue, cells, and fluids from the lungs
  • Biochemical and Cellular Studies of Lung Fluids
  • Measurement of Respiratory or Gas Exchange Functions
  • Examination of Airway or Bronchial Activity

Specific treatment will be determined by your multi-discipline team based on your age, overall health, and medical history, extent of the disease, tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies, expectations for the course of the disease as well as your opinion or preference.

Our pulmonary rehabilitation programs at INTEGRIS help you by creating individualized plans and education, so you can do more things you enjoy. Support services include:

  • Stress management, relaxation exercises and emotional support
  • Medication management
  • Exercises for physical conditioning programs
  • Assistance with obtaining respiratory equipment and portable oxygen
  • Lung medication
  • Infection control
  • Oxygen and equipment

Available Near You