What is asbestosis?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fiber widely used in many different industries, such as automotive, shipyard, and building and construction until it was regulated in the 70s. Although most sectors have banned the use of asbestos due to health concerns, certain industries still use these minerals because of their unmatched characteristics.

According to http://www.williamskherkher.com/houston-personal-injury/, asbestos can be a workplace hazard if improperly managed. One of the most common adverse effects of prolonged asbestos exposure at work is asbestosis. When inhaled, asbestos may lodge inside the lungs and cause damage overtime. Signs and symptoms of asbestosis may occur decades after prolonged exposure. These symptoms may include shortness of breath, chronic cough, weight loss due to loss of appetite, tightness and pain in the chest, and clubbing of fingers due to lack of oxygen.

If you are at risk of asbestosis due to work, has been exposed to asbestos before, or are experiencing any signs and symptoms above, you should consult with your doctor about tests to diagnose asbestosis. These tests may include:
Pulmonary function tests – These tests measure your lungs’ capability to hold and blow off air. A spirometer, for instance, is a device used to measure how much air enters and goes out of your lungs.

Imaging tests – X-rays and computerized tomography (CT) scan may help in detecting the presence of asbestos inside the lungs, and the scope of the damage.

Asbestosis is a life-long disease. Furthermore, the damage caused by asbestosis is irreversible. Overtime, the damage lung tissue would scar, decreasing the lungs’ surface area to hold enough oxygen that the body needs. People with asbestosis are also more prone to other life-threatening lung conditions, such as lung failure and lung cancer.

There is currently no treatment for asbestosis. However, certain adjustments can be done to relieve its symptoms. Living a healthier lifestyle, avoiding second-hand smoke, and getting vaccinated for flu and pneumonia are just some of the many ways to improve life while living with this disease.

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