Types of Silicosis
The type of silicosis you develop is generally a result of the conditions of your exposure. The three main types include:
Simple chronic silicosis -- results from long-term exposure (more than 20 years) to low amounts of silica dust. Nodules of chronic inflammation and scarring provoked by the silica dust form in the lungs and chest lymph nodes. This disease may feature breathlessness and may resemble chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Accelerated silicosis -- occurs after exposure to moderate amounts of silica over a time frame of 4?8 years. Inflammation, scarring, and symptoms progress faster in accelerated silicosis than in simple silicosis.
Acute silicosis -- results from short-term exposure to very large amounts of silica. The lungs become very inflamed and may fill with fluid, causing severe shortness of breath and low blood oxygen levels.
Progressive massive fibrosis (PMF) may occur in simple or accelerated silicosis, but is more common in the accelerated form. Also known as complicated silicosis, PMF results from severe scarring and leads to obliteration of normal lung structures.
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