What is Asbestosis ?
It is a chronic lung disease that is sourced by breathing in the fibers of asbestos, a mineral product. In addition, exposure to such fibers for a prolonged period of time can result in scarring of lung tissues and breathing difficulties. Signs of the disease can range in terms of intensity, and often do not emerge until years after exposure.
Asbestos was once commonly used in products including cement and insulation. It is resistant to corrosion and heat. Today, the use of this mineral product is greatly controlled.
What Are The Symptoms Of Asbestosis ?
Usually, effects of continuous exposure to the mineral product do not get noticed for decades after the initial exposure. Common symptoms of asbestosis are:
- Breathing difficulties.
- Loss of appetite.
- Continuous, dry cough.
- Weight loss.
- Chest pain or tightness.
- Toes and fingertips appear unusually rounder and wider.
What Causes Of Asbestosis ?
Over exposure to the dust of asbestos causes few airborne fibers to trap within the alveoli. Alveoli are basically the minute sacs present in our lungs, a place where oxygen is replace with carbon dioxide in our blood. These stuck fibers then irritate the tissue of your lung. Moreover, scarring also occur, that results in stiff lungs. Such causes breathing difficulties.
With the progression of disease, scarring occurs on more and more tissues, ultimately, making the lungs stiff to an extent that they fail to expand and contract smoothly. Smoking cigarette can help boost the progression of asbestosis.
Can Asbestosis Lead To Any Complication In The Future ?
Suffering from the disease puts the patient at an increased risk of contracting lung cancer, particularly when he or she smokes, or has a history of tobacco smoking.
How is Asbestosis Diagnosis ?
Clearly, the disease can be challenging to detect as the symptoms of asbestosis mimic the signs of other types of respiratory disease. The doctor will ask a series of questions to rule out the possibilities of certain conditions that may have triggered the symptoms. To ascertain the cause, the doctor can suggest a number of diagnostic tests that will help him identifying asbestosis, these include:
- Pulmonary function tests.
- Imaging tests.
- Chest X-ray.
- CT scans.
How is Asbestosis Treatment ?
Unfortunately, the effects of disease on the patient’s alveoli are irreversible, though; treatment aims to slow down the progression of asbestosis and easing the symptoms associated with the disease. Few treatment options are as follow:
- Therapy: advance asbestosis can cause great difficulties to breathe, therefore to ease the problem, therapy can help. At times, the health care provider prescribes supplemental oxygen.
- Surgery: in case of severe symptoms, the patient is often asked to prepare himself/herself for a lung transplant.
How is Asbestosis Preventable ?
The best prevention from the disease is avoidance to asbestos. In case of being diagnosed with asbestosis, it is advice to quit smoking, in case you do. This will help to avoid further damage to your liver.
By : Natural Health News