Asbestosis is the chronic disorder of human lungs and this disease is caused when the person inhale the asbestos fibre. Workers and people who are exposed to this asbestos fibre for prolonged period are likely to have scarring in lungs along with shortness of breath. The symptoms of Asbestosis usually range from severe to mild and may not occur for several years despite exposure to fibre. Asbestos is the natural construction material which can resist corrosion and heat. It is widely used for insulation. People that are having Asbestosis usually get infected at workplace early to 1970 before the federal government started regulating the use of asbestos and related products. The handling of the product is strictly regulated today and hence getting infected by Asbestosis is unlikely especially if the employer follow the safety procedures. The treatment of Asbestosis aims to alleviate the symptoms.
The effects of Asbestosis are not obvious up to 10-40 years after initial exposure to asbestos fibre. Some of the common symptoms and signs of Asbestosis include:
Workers and people who are exposed to the asbestos dust for a prolonged period of time or exposed to airborne fibres which cam lodge within alveoli (the small scar inside the lungs where oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide in blood) may have Asbestosis in any time of your lifetime. The asbestos fibre is likely to irritate and cause scarring in the tissues of lungs and this cause the lungs to become stiff, thereby making breathing quite complicated.
As the condition worsen, more and more tissues in lungs become irritated and scarred and gradually the tissues become stiff and harder that can’t even contract or expand as usually, therefore making breathing impossible. Smoking and alcohol consumption enhances the retention of the asbestos fibre in your lungs and also lead to faster progression of Asbestosis.
Workers who have already worked in mills, mining, installation or removal of asbestos products or in manufacturing units prior to 1970 are most likely to have Asbestosis. Some of examples include:
People who are having Asbestosis are the great risk of developing cancer in lungs, especially if you consume alcohol and have a history of smoking.
Asbestosis is the condition which is quite complication to diagnose as the symptoms of the condition is similar to that of other respiratory conditions. Doctors make use of a variety of diagnostic tests which help them to find out the presence of Asbestosis in patients. This test includes:
Pulmonary Function Tests are also conducted to see how the lungs are functioning. It measures the amount of air present in lungs and the airflow in and out of the lings.
There is no exact treatment available for Asbestosis. However, the treatments offered are focused towards alleviating the symptoms associated with the disease. Patients are asked for routine check-up care and therapy to ease the breathing difficulty caused by advanced Asbestosis. Supplemental oxygen may also be prescribed by doctors. If some of the symptoms are serious and unmanageable, the candidate may be asked to undergo surgery for lungs transplant. This is a risky surgery and only recommended when the condition is severe.