Asbestosis: causes, symptoms and treatment

Asbestosis causes, symptoms and treatment

Asbestosis is a lung condition caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers. So, in this article we will talk about : Asbestosis causes, symptoms and treatment.

Asbestosis definition

This disease refers to a disease of the lungs caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers. For the most part, we use this substance in construction materials (gutters, etc.), certain textiles, and in the automotive and railway industry (brakes, exhaust pipes, etc.).

Asbestosis is on the list of occupational diseases. In some cases, the exposure is not professional (people living in a house containing asbestos).

The severity of this disease is directly related to the amount of fiber inhaled and the duration of exposure.

Symptoms do not appear until at least ten years of moderate or severe exposure to asbestos. Even if there is no more exposure to asbestos , the disease can continue to progress.

this disease progresses to more or less disabling respiratory failure . The lung damage is final. As a rule, we link directly asbestosis to certain lung cancers , especially in smokers.

Exposure to asbestos also increases the risk of developing cancer of the pleura (the envelope that covers the lungs).

Asbestosis causes

This disease is mainly caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers .

This disease occurs when large amounts of fine asbestos fibers (or asbestos ) accumulate in the lungs. The lungs respond to asbestos dust by forming with them small masses of sclerotic tissue (pulmonary fibrosis: thickening of the lung tissue).

Asbestosis symptoms

This disease first presents without symptoms, then appears:

  • a dry cough;
  • breathing difficulties, first on exertion;
  • tiredness ;
  • sometimes chest pain.

When the disease is installed, there may be crackling groans distinguished by auscultation of the lungs and deformation of the fingers (curved and rounded: digital hippocratism).

Respiratory failure is progressive. In severe cases, signs of heart failure may appear (edema, etc.).

A medical consultation is necessary at the slightest sign of breathing difficulty, especially if there is contact with asbestos.

Asbestosis prevention councils

If we want to prevent the occurrence of asbestosis or complications of the disease, we recommand you:

  • first, to stop smoking because cigarettes increase the risk of lung cancer in individuals exposed to asbestos ;
  • second, to comply with the prevention instructions in the event of risky work (wearing a mask, limited exposure time) and to regularly monitor one’s state of health with a doctor;
  • finally, to protect themselves during certain DIY work (fiber cement sheets, insulation, etc.) to avoid illness.

Preventing Asbestosis by Eliminating Asbestos

The ban on the use of asbestos since 1997 is an important element in the fight against this disease.

The elimination of asbestos in certain buildings or dwellings is an essential preventive measure.

Asbestosis exams

In case of breathing difficulties , it is advisable to consult a doctor quickly.

After questioning the patient to look for possible occupational exposure to asbestos or not, the doctor prescribes various examinations:

  • chest radiography;
  • to scan ;
  • respiratory functional exploration.

They determine the extent of lung and pleural damage.

Asbestosis treatment

Asbestos treatments

The people with this disease do not have specific treatment. However, depending on the course of the disease, oxygen therapy and the treatment of heart failure may be implemented.

Sometimes bronchodilators and respiratory rehabilitation exercises are offered to soothe breathing discomfort.

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