Silicosis is a disease that impacts individuals who work around silica dust. Workers who are exposed to crystalline silica dust may experience symptoms of silicosis soon after exposure, within weeks or months of exposure, or even years later. Generally speaking, the symptoms of silicosis are:
- Persistent Cough
- Difficulty Breathing
- Chest Pain
- Weight Loss
- Shortness of Breath
- Difficulty Breathing
- Swollen Legs (edema)
- Blue Lips
These symptoms can develop over time, or may be sudden, depending on how long ago you were exposed, the concentration of exposure, and other health conditions you may have. Early symptoms are often manageable, but as silicosis develops and worsens, symptoms increase and respiratory failure becomes a greater concern. Diagnosing silicosis is an important step in managing symptoms.
How Soon do Symptoms of Silicosis Develop?
Symptom presentation often depends on the amount of dust you have been exposed to, and for what duration.
- Acute Silicosis – Acute silicosis causes symptoms sooner than other types, usually within a few weeks of exposure, or up to five years after exposure. This is due to exposure to high concentrations of silica dust in a short period of time.
- Chronic Silicosis – Chronic silicosis symptoms may not be experienced for 10 years or more after exposure. Some people are not diagnosed with silicosis for several decades after exposure.
- Accelerated Silicosis – Accelerated silicosis symptoms most commonly develop between five to 10 years after exposure to high concentrations of silica dust.
Health Conditions that May Indicate Silicosis
People with silicosis are much more likely to develop certain medical conditions, such as:
- Chronic Bronchitis
- Lung Cancer
- Systemic Sclerosis
- Chronic Kidney Disease
People who have worked around silica dust and later developed any of these medical conditions should talk to their healthcare provider about silicosis. Many patients suffer from silicosis without realizing it for many years.
Understanding Silicosis Symptoms
If you worked around silica dust several years or decades ago, finding out that you have symptoms of a disease related to that work can be frustrating. You most likely were not aware of the dangers of working around silica dust, and you may not have been provided proper training or safety gear.
If any of these situations sound similar to what you or a loved one has experienced, find out more about your legal rights. Contact the silicosis lawyers at AkinMears, L.L.P. to find out if you or your loved one qualifies for compensation. Schedule a free consultation with one of our silicosis lawyers by completing our online form.