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Are You Suffering from Work-Related COPD?

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) can make it hard to breathe, and your work might be to blame. Work-related COPD is caused by exposure to chemicals in the workplace and takes some time to develop. Your employer covers you for workplace injuries and occupational illnesses like COPD, so read on to learn more about the disease and getting workers compensation insurance coverage.

What is COPD?

Most people have heard of COPD, but are not aware that it is not a single disease. There are numerous lung diseases that fall under the COPD heading, including asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis to name just a few. All of these conditions have something in common: a limitation in the ability to take air and out. Those with COPD often mistake the beginnings of COPD for a bad cold or the flu, but symptoms like those below never go away.

What Are the Symptoms of COPD?

Workers who experience any of the below should seek medical care immediately:

  • Shortness of breath
  • A cough that won't go away and that can bring up blood
  • Discoloration around your mouth or on your nails, such as purple or blue colors
  • A wheezing sound when breathing
  • Feeling more tired than usual

You should understand that work-related COPD may have been affecting you for years without you knowing it. The diseases associated with COPD can take some time to cause symptoms.

What is a Toxic Workplace?

Many workers have no choice but to work around dangerous, toxic chemicals day in and day out for years and years. What might not cause problems for workers who are exposed occasionally can make those with prolonged exposure very ill. Workers can be exposed to an astounding number of potentially toxic chemicals in their work. Some common toxic chemicals include asbestos, arsenic, and smoke.

What Can Workers Compensation Do for You?

You are entitled to medical expenses, a partial salary, and, in some cases, a lump sum settlement. You must seek treatment and let your supervisor know about your diagnosis as you soon as you are aware of it. The workers' compensation company may challenge your claim to compensation by saying you were exposed outside of work. If you are having problems with any part of your workers' compensation claim, you may need legal help. Speak to a workers compensation attorney and get the professional legal support you need to get the retribution you deserve.