Asbestosis is a respiratory disorder that occurs as a result of asbestos inhalation. Asbestos, which was commonly used in construction until the mid 1970's, can cause the formation of scar tissue within the lung, resulting in difficulty breathing.

Symptoms of Asbestosis

Symptoms of asbestosis typically include:

  • Chest pain
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Clubbed fingers
  • Tightness of the chest

Diagnosis of Asbestosis

Asbestosis is difficult to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to other respiratory diseases. In order to diagnose asbestosis, your doctor will perform a physical examination and review your medical history. Additional testing may also be done to rule out other conditions; these tests may include:

  • Pulmonary function tests
  • Chest X-ray
  • Lung CT scan

Treatment of Asbestosis

While there is no cure currently available for asbestosis, certain measures can be taken to relieve symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Smoking complicates the condition by retaining the asbestos fibers in the lungs. It also speeds up the advancement of the condition and contributes to the development of lung cancer.

Treatment for asbestosis may include:

  • Chest percussion
  • Aerosol inhalers
  • Postural drainage
  • Supplemental oxygen
  • Lung transplant surgery

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