Table of contents:


Video: Silicosis

Video: Silicosis
Video: Silicosis (Miners phthisis, Grinders asthma) : Etiology , Pathophysiology , Diagnosis ,Treatment 2023, September


Silicosis occurs when inorganic dusts (mostly quartz dust) or dust mixtures (mixed dust silicosis) are inhaled. In the past, workers in mining, industry (e.g. metal works) and trades (stonemasons) are or were affected. Today new illnesses are very rare in this country, as there are appropriate protective measures. However, silicosis can show up later and can be traced back to earlier times.

Inhaling leads to deposits, inflammatory processes and changes in the lungs and the formation of new connective tissue (pulmonary fibrosis). In the chronic form of silicosis, there are usually no symptoms for a long time. Over time, you develop a dry cough and difficult breathing. There is a sound of breathing when listening to the lungs (wheezing). In the late stages, silicosis leads to failure of breathing. In acute silicosis, the difficult breathing worsens quickly. It leads to lung failure relatively quickly.


  • Continue reading
  • more on the subject
  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • Silicosis - diagnosis
  • Silicosis therapy
  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

COPD can also be present. The risk of lung cancer is increased with silicosis. The damage to the lungs can also lead to infections (e.g. tuberculosis), emphysema, cor pulmonale, etc.

Silicosis - diagnosis

In addition to collecting the medical history during a doctor-patient conversation (including occupation) and a physical examination (e.g. listening, tapping), further examinations are carried out, including:

  • roentgen
  • CT
  • Lung function diagnostics (e.g. spirometry)
  • Bronchoscopy / BAL (bronchoalveolar lavage)

Silicosis therapy

With regard to fibrosis, there is no way of influencing it therapeutically. In acute silicosis, a BAL can be performed therapeutically. Long-term oxygen therapy can also be used. Any complications are treated (e.g. tuberculosis). Any COPD is also included in the therapy.

Further information on the therapy of

  • COPD as well
  • Tuberculosis.

Whom can I ask?

The contact persons are the pulmonologist. Specialized doctors carry out examinations of workers who work with asbestos. You can find a list at

You can also contact the company doctor if you have any questions.

The clarification takes place in the lung departments of hospitals or occupational medical facilities.

How are the costs going to be covered?

The costs for diagnosis and treatment are usually covered by the responsible health insurance company.

Your doctor will generally settle accounts directly with your health insurance provider. However, you may have to pay a deductible with certain health insurance providers. You can also use a doctor of your choice (ie doctor without a health insurance contract) or a private outpatient clinic. For more information, see Visit a Doctor: Costs and Deductibles.

For more information on costs for a hospital stay, see What does a hospital stay cost?

For certain examinations (e.g. X-ray, CT, biopsy) you need a referral / referral from the treating doctor. This is usually valid for one month from the date of issue. For a CT examination to be reimbursed by the health insurance company, the chief physician's approval is required within this period. Certain forms of oxygen therapy (oxygen concentrator and liquid oxygen) also require a permit.

Occupational diseases and their consequences are covered by accident insurance as part of statutory social insurance. Your benefits include treatment and vocational rehabilitation as well as financial support. Further information is available from AUVA.