Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Black Lung Disease Wheezing Attacks

Home care for wheezing in someone with coal worker's pneumoconiosis includes:

  • Avoid exposure to smoke.
  • Avoid cough medicine.
  • Avoid sedative medications.
  • Avoid substances that trigger wheezing.
  • Drink plenty of liquids to remain hydrated.
  • Place a vaporizer or nebulizer in the bedroom at night.
  • Learn to use prescribed inhalers correctly.
  • Use short-acting inhalers every 20 minutes, or as directed by your doctor.
  • Long-acting medications must be used regularly.
  • Learn to use a peak flow meter.
  • Know the peak flow danger zones.
  • Develop a strategy for using your inhaler based on your PEFR reading
  • Stay calm during a wheezing attack.

Peak Flow Zones:
  • Green Zone:
    • A PEFR reading that is 80-100% of personal best represents good control
  • Yellow Zone:
    • A PEFR reading that is 50-80% of personal best represents a moderate attack
  • Red Zone:
    • A PEFR reading that is less than 50% of personal best represents a severe attack and may identify the need for treatment in an emergency department.

Continue to Black Lung Disease Prevention

Last Updated: Dec 8, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Black Lung Disease References
  1. De Vuyst P, Camus P. The past and present of pneumoconioses. Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2000 Mar;6(2):151-6. [10741776]
  2. Petsonk EL, Daniloff EM, Mannino DM, Wang ML, Short SR, Wagner GR. Airway responsiveness and job selection: a study in coal miners and non-mining controls. Occup Environ Med. 1995 Nov;52(11):745-9. [8535494]
  3. Scott DF, Grayson RL, Metz EA. Disease and illness in U.S. mining, 1983-2001. J Occup Environ Med. 2004 Dec;46(12):1272-7.[15591979]
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