What Is Asbestosis?
Asbestosis is a lung condition caused by breathing high levels of asbestos dust. The asbestos fibers forever damage the alveoli in the lungs. It is a kind of interstitial fibrosis where the lung tissues become thickened and stiff over a period of time due to the appearance of asbestos fibers. The improvement of scar tissue is called fibrosis as the lung tissue becomes scarred and thicker, the lung loses its flexibility and ability to transfer oxygen into the bloodstream. As an outcome, the brain and other organs do not get the oxygen they need. The condition can make it more challenging to breathe.
A person is in danger of developing lung disease if they have been subjected to prolonged asbestos exposure. Those who have served as laggers, pipe filters, electricians, dockworkers, engineers, joiners, plumbers, welders, and heating engineers are usually thought to be at risk of high asbestos exposure but this listing is not exhaustive. People who have served in power stations, railways and factories whatever their occupation may also have been shown to enough asbestos dust to develop asbestosis.
If you are exposed to huge levels of asbestos dust over a long duration of time, some of the airborne fibers can become lodged within your alveoli. The tiny sacs inside your lungs where oxygen is transferred for carbon dioxide in your blood. The asbestos fibers aggravate and scar lung tissue, causing the lungs to become stiff. This causes it difficult to breathe.
As asbestosis grows, more and more lung tissue becomes scarred. Ultimately, your lung tissue becomes so stiff that it can not contract and develop normally.
Smoking seems to increase the retention of asbestos fibers in the lungs and often results in a faster improvement of the disease.
The symptoms can take 10 and 15 years to develop and the severity of the condition ranges significantly from individual to individual. It can seriously affect a person’s daily life, and in some cases, asbestosis will change a person’s life span. The disease ordinarily progresses slowly and in many cases will remain constant. In rare cases, the degeneration can be more rapid but there is no reliable way of predicting its progress.
It is probable to have a degree of asbestosis and not experience from any ill effects, but the most common symptoms include:
- Progressive breathlessness
Other severe symptoms can develop in rare occurrences which can include:
- Blood in the sputum
- Swelling in the neck or face
- Difficulty swallowing
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Finger clubbing
There is no treatment to change the effects of asbestos on the alveoli. Treatment concentrates on slowing the improvement of the disease, relieving symptoms, and preventing complications. You will require routine follow-up care, such as chest X-rays or CT scans and lung function tests, at frequent periods depending on the severity of your condition.
To ease breathing problems caused by advanced asbestosis, your doctor might order supplemental oxygen. This is delivered by thin plastic tubing with prongs that suit into your nostrils or thin tubing connected to a mask used over your nose and mouth.
Participating in a pulmonary rehabilitation program may support some people. The program offers educational and exercises elements such as breathing and relaxation techniques, ways to promote physical activity habits, and education to increase overall health.
Lifestyle And Home Remedies
In supplement to medical treatment:
Asbestosis raises the risk of lung cancer. Quitting smoking can reduce this risk. Try to withdraw secondhand smoke. Smoking may also cause more harm to your lungs and airways, which further reduces your lung reserves.
Speak to your doctor about flu and pneumonia vaccines, which can help lower the risk of lung infections. Immediately treat respiratory infections.
Avoid further asbestos exposure
Further exposure to asbestos can worsen your disease.
Asbestos exposure can begin with malignant mesothelioma, a critical form of lung cancer. Other types of lung cancer may increase if you smoke. A buildup of fluid around your lungs, also known as pleural effusion is also correlated with asbestos exposure. Factors that affect the severity of the condition include how long you were exposed to asbestos and how much of it you breathed. The conditions progress at a slower rate once your exposure to asbestos ceases. People who have the condition but don’t produce complications can live for decades.