Asbestosis symptoms appear many years after a victim's initial exposure to asbestos and as the asbestosis disease progresses, those symptoms become worse.
Asbestosis is caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers over a prolonged period of time. This disease usually takes between 20 to 30 years or more to emerge after the exposure, and asbestosis symptoms tend to progress as the disease advances. Asbestosis, which is not a cancer, is only caused by exposure to asbestos. There are no other potential sources. It is one of several diseases such as mesothelioma that is associated with asbestos exposure.
Primary Symptoms of Asbestosis
Asbestosis symptoms tend to be subtle at first, followed by a slow, gradual buildup in the amount and severity of symptoms. Below is an overview of asbestosis symptoms:
Shortness of breath: Also called dyspnea, this is the most common asbestosis symptom. It is most noticeable when a person is exercising, and as the condition gets worse, may occur when the sufferer is performing light activity. The victim may also experience notable difficulty in taking a breath. This asbestosis symptom occurs due to the buildup of scar tissue in the lungs. The scar tissue stiffens the lungs, and more physical effort is required to force them to expand upon inhalation.
Chest pain and coughing: As asbestosis symptoms progress, the victim may experience a dry, persistent cough and chest pain that tends to worsen when they inhale (pleuritic pain).
Clubbed fingers: In more advanced stages of the disease, an asbestosis symptom known as clubbing may arise. This is a deformity of the finger in which the fingertips become expanded and round. Fingernail abnormalities may also accompany this asbestosis symptom.
In addition to the above, other asbestosis symptoms that may occur include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
- Tightness in the chest
Although there is currently no cure for asbestosis, its symptoms can be treated in order to make the patient more comfortable. A doctor may prescribe medications that help improve lung function or oxygen to assist respiration. If there is an excessive buildup of scar tissue in the lungs causing problematic asbestosis symptoms, surgery may be necessary to bring the patient relief.
If you have a history of exposure to asbestos and you're experiencing asbestosis symptoms, you should talk to your doctor. If you’ve already been diagnosed with asbestosis or another asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma, call Sokolove Law today at 888-360-4215 to learn if you may be entitled to compensation.