If you have been diagnosed with berylliosis, you may wish to ask your doctor these additional four questions:
1. What treatment is recommended to manage the symptoms of berylliosis?
The treatment recommended for you will depend upon your physical examination, results in the diagnostic reports and talks with your doctor. However, most cases are managed with:
• Corticosteroids like Dexamethasone or Prednisone.
• In very serious cases a lung transplant may be prescribed.
• If beryllium dust is embedded in the skin causing wounds, scraping of the skin needs to be done to dislodge the specks.
• Mechanical ventilation may have to be provided if the lung damage is extensive.
• Chelation therapy is currently under study to cleanse lungs of the beryllium particles.
• Other medications may be prescribed to curb the symptoms.
2. What is the prognosis for berylliosis?
This differs between patients. Berylliosis may be asymptomatic in some patients while others may succumb to respiratory failure and develop complications of the lung and heart. However, in most cases some degree of pulmonary dysfunction starts to occur as the disease progresses.
3. What are the steps to preventing berylliosis?
Steps basically involve:
• Avoiding exposure to areas that may be contaminated with beryllium dust, fumes and particles.
• It also involves keeping up with regular checkups and follow up with your doctor if you work in a place that has a beryllium hazard or if you live near such a place.
• Wearing a mask if working or living near a beryllium zone is unavoidable.
• Ensure proper ventilation in work places with beryllium dust or fumes or at homes near such places.
• Using work overalls in work places.
• Taking a shower on return from work places with beryllium dust.
• Exercising regularly and drinking plenty of fluids.
4. What are the complications that may develop due to berylliosis?
It is possible that patients afflicted with berylliosis develop any of the following complications:
• Liver granuloma – nodules appear on liver surface which do not tend to cause any structural damage.