Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are both lung diseases that fall under the umbrella-term of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. According to NHS statistics, approximately 835,000 Brits were diagnosed with this illness.
As it is possible to suffer from COPD without being aware, figures are believed to potentially be much higher than this in reality.
The same statistics reveal that around a third of sufferers have mild COPD, while more than half suffer moderate symptoms. A small percentage of sufferers have severe lung diseases, and approximately 30,000 UK sufferers die every year.
Causes of lung diseases
There are two main factors known to cause lung diseases like emphysema and chronic bronchitis, namely smoking and exposure to harmful chemicals or gases at work.
Exposure to chemicals and gases may cause lung diseases due to prolonged regular exposure, or to intake of substantial amounts of harmful substances during or following workplace accidents.
Symptoms of smoking or work-related lung diseases
Symptoms of lung diseases vary depending on severity and may include:
- Breathlessness/ difficulties in breathing
- Coughing, potentially bringing up yellow-green or clear phlegm
- Cough is potentially worse first thing in the morning
- Weight loss
- Swollen ankles
- Brittle bones tending to break easily
Diagnosing lung diseases
As these symptoms can also be signs of other conditions, seeing a doctor if and when they occur is vital. In order to diagnose COPD, doctors will perform a series of tests, including:
- Walking tests
- Chest x-rays
- CT Scan
- Blood Tests
On diagnosis of lung diseases, a suitable course of action will be determined according to the severity of the illness.
If the illness was caused by exposure to harmful substances at work/work accidents, sufferers may be able to claim for industrial injury compensation.
Claiming for industrial diseases/ accidents at work
As claims for work-related diseases have to be made within three years of becoming aware of/ being diagnosed with these illnesses, it is essential to contact Accident Advice Helpline as soon as possible.
Accident Advice Helpline is not a compensation provider, but a law firm specialising in personal injury claims.
Advisers are available 24/7 to assist in determining whether claims are justified and likely to result in payment of compensation.
Calls are free and, if it is decided to go ahead with a claim, one of the company’s specialist solicitors will take over to deal with the case.
All our lawyers operate on conditional fee agreements (no win – no fee) and will bring claims to completion as quickly as possible.
Date Published: October 28, 2013
Author: David Brown