Occupational Disorders – Silicosis,signs and symptoms of Silicosis disorder


Silicosis, also known as Pottor’s rot is a form of occupational lung disease caused by inhalation of crystalline silica dust and is marked by inflammation and scarlingin forms of nodular lesions in the upper lobes of the lungs.


Silicosis is caused by exposure to crystalline silica and breathing in tiny bits of silica, which comes from chipping ,cutting , drilling ,or grinding soil ,sand , granite ,or other minerals.

Signs and Symptoms

* Dyspnea exacerbated by exertion

* Cough, often persistent and sometime severe

* Fatigue

* Tachypnea

* Loss of appetite and weight loss

* Chest

* Fever

* Gradual dark shallow rifts in nails eventually leading to crack as protein fibre with in nails beds are destroyed

In advance cases:

• Cyanosis

• Corpulmonale

• Respiratory insufficiency


• History collection

• Physical examination

• Chest X-ray reveals findings consistent with silicosis

• Pulmonary function testing: may reveal airflow limitation, restrictive defects, reduced diffusion capacity, mixed defects or may be normal (in uncomplicated)


Silicosis is an irreversible condition with no cure. Management options currently focus on alleviating the symptoms and preventing complications.

These include:

* Stopping further exposure to silica and other lung irritants, including tobacco.

* Cough suppressants

* Antibiotics for bacterial lung infection

* TB prophylaxis for those with positive tuberculosis skin test

* Chest physiotherapy to help the bronchial drainage of mucus

* Oxygen administration to treat hypoxemia, if present

* Bronchodilators to facilitate breathing

* Lung Transplantation

Nursing Management

* Providing nursing care in the acute and chronic stages

* Health education regarding the prevention of the disease


* Rigorous dust control measures like wearing mask improving the ventilation of work place

* Water spray is often used where dust is present

* Dust can also be controlled by dry air filtering

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