Shaver's Disease or Bauxite Fibrosis

Shaver’s Disease or Bauxite Fibrosis: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention

Shaver’s Disease or Bauxite Fibrosis– This is a pathological condition of the lungs which is caused as a result of chronic exposure to bauxite fumes. Bauxite is extensively used for producing corundum. Bauxite contains a mixture of aluminium and silica particulates. In the initial stages, this disease causes alveolitis or inflammation of the alveoli, which then may progress to emphysema or a collapsed lung.

Shaver's Disease or Bauxite Fibrosis

What Is Shaver’s Disease Or Bauxite Fibrosis?

As stated, Shaver’s Disease or Bauxite Fibrosis is a progressive pathological condition of the lungs which is caused due to chronic exposure to aluminium oxide present in abundance in bauxite fumes. Shaver’s Disease causes inflammation of the alveoli in the initial phases of the disease and as the disease advances there is development of potentially serious conditions like emphysema or pneumothorax.

What Are The Causes Of Shaver’s Disease Or Bauxite Fibrosis?

As stated, Shaver’s Disease or Bauxite Fibrosis is caused due to exposure to aluminium oxide particulates which are found in abundance in bauxite fumes. When these particulates are inhaled chronically, they start to cause damage to the lungs, initially the air sacs and then progressing to involve the entire lung. Shaver’s Disease or Bauxite Fibrosis is mostly seen in people working in industries making corundum.

What Are The Symptoms Of Shaver’s Disease Or Bauxite Fibrosis?

Symptoms Of Shaver’s Disease Or Bauxite Fibrosis Include:

  • Dry cough
  • Expectoration
  • Respiratory difficulties
  • Anorexia
  • Retrosternal pain
  • Cyanosis
  • Rales
  • Bronchiolectasis
  • Enlarged lymph nodes.

How Is Shaver’s Disease Or Bauxite Fibrosis Diagnosed?

To diagnose Shaver’s Disease, the treating physician will take a detailed history to find out about the occupation of the individual so as to determine whether that individual may have been exposed to bauxite fumes.

Apart from history taking, pulmonary function tests may also be conducted. Occupational lung disorders like Shaver’s Disease cannot be definitively diagnosed just by plain radiographs and hence high resolution CT scan is required.

What Are The Treatments For Shaver’s Disease Or Bauxite Fibrosis?

Occupation diseases of the lungs like Shaver’s Disease or Bauxite Fibrosis are not curable and treatment is aimed at resolution of the symptoms. If the affected individual is a smoker, then smoking cessation is of paramount importance. Symptoms of shortness of breath and fever can be treated with medications.

What Are The Ways To Prevent Shaver’s Disease Or Bauxite Fibrosis?

Ways To Prevent Shaver’s Disease Or Bauxite Fibrosis Include:

  • Proper ventilation
  • Try and maintain the workplace clean and free of dust
  • Wearing facemasks to avoid inhalation of toxic fumes.

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