Symptoms of Black Lung Disease – Treatment

Black lung disease is also called

Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, Anthracosis, Black spittle, Miner’s asthma or Silicosis

. This is a condition caused by inhaling the dust. Specifically, this is caused by inhaling coal dust that turn lungs black instead of pink color. This is often seen in coalminers and people who are exposed to coal dust. This usually affects people over 50 years.


Most of the patients do not have any symptoms. The following symptoms are observed, if present:

  • Severe cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Obstruction of airways
  • Strain and enlargement of right-side of heart. This causes right-sided heart attack.
  • In some people, emphysema also develops.


Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for this disorder. Treatments aim at complications and symptoms of black lung disease. Chest X-rays and pulmonary function test can be performed to check the progression of the disease.

Various treatments give relief from the symptoms but not from the disease. Following measures can treat the symptoms of black lung disease.

  • Avoid Exposure:

    Try to avoid carbon or coal dust. Further complications can be avoided by wearing a helmet or mask. Care should be taken to protect lungs from getting damaged. People who smoke have possibility of damaging lung disease and advised to stop smoking.

  • Corticosteroids:

    Corticosteroid injections alleviates lung tissue inflammation caused by coal and other mineral dusts and also chronic bouts of coughing. These injections reduce inflammation, enable more oxygen to reach the lungs and also alveoli and bronchioles.

  • Oxygen Therapy:

    Oxygen therapy is given to an individual who suffer from chronic lung disease. This provides pure oxygen to lungs. This therapy boosts stamina, reduces fatigue, lethargy in patients with chronic breathing problems. and also alleviates shortness of breath.

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