Asbestos is a whitish material that was used in buildings for insulation, flooring and roofing. While asbestos can be dangerous, it doesn't present a health risk if left undisturbed. But if material containing asbestos is damaged, it can release a fine dust that contains asbestos fibers. When the dust is breathed in, the asbestos fibers enter the lungs and can gradually damage them over time.

Asbestosis is a serious long-term lung condition caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos.

Symptoms of asbestosis
Breathing in asbestos fibres over many years eventually causes scarring of the lungs. Symptoms of this can include
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness in your chest
  • Persistent dry cough
  • Chest pain
  • Appetite loss
  • Finger clubbing (enlarged fingertips)
  • Nail deformities
Testing for and Diagnosing Asbestosis

Tests may include

  • a chest X-ray
  • a CT scan of the lungs
  • lung function tests to see how well your lungs are working

Treatment Options for Asbestosis

Asbestosis can’t be cured.

But some treatments can be used to control or reduce symptoms. Prescription inhalers may help loosen congestion in your lungs.

Avoiding further exposure to asbestos and by quitting smoking can prevent the disease from getting worse.

A lung transplant might be an option if your condition is severe.


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