Asbestosis: Symptoms, Causes & Quality Treatment at Medicover

Asbestosis is a type of persistent lung condition which happens when one inhales asbestos fibres. Long-term contact with these fibres can result in lung tissue scarring and breathing difficulties. Initially, some mild to severe symptoms of asbestosis can be seen. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral substance that is heat- and corrosion-resistant. In the past, it was widely utilized in items like insulation, cement, and some floor tiles.

Asbestosis can be contracted by individuals exposed to construction areas and cement production sites. If you abide by the safety regulations your workplace sets, developing asbestosis is very rare. The management of asbestos materials should only be done by certified and educated personnel.

Asbestosis Disease

Symptoms

In most cases, it takes 10–40 years after the initial exposure to asbestos before the symptoms of long-term exposure become apparent. The degree of symptoms can vary. Some symptoms and indicators of asbestosis include:

  • Breathing difficulty
  • A continuous, Drycough
  • Chest discomfort or stiffness
  • When you breathe in, your lungs make dry and crackling noises.
  • Wider and rounder-than-normal finger and toe tips (clubbing)

When to see a doctor?

Speak to your doctor about the likelihood of asbestosis if you have a history of asbestos exposure and are seeing that your shortness of breath is worsening.

Get the best treatment for Asbestosis from the top Pulmonologist at Medicover Hospitals.


Causes

Asbestosis occurs when some airborne fibres from prolonged exposure to high quantities of asbestos dust lodge in your alveoli, the tiny sacs in your lungs where oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide in your blood. The irritation caused by the asbestos fibres makes the lung tissue inflexible. This makes breathing challenging.

Scarring of lung tissue increases as asbestosis worsens. Your lung tissue eventually stiffens to the point that it cannot contract and expand correctly.

Smoking frequently causes the disease to advance more quickly and enhances the retention of asbestos fibres in the lungs.


Risk factors

The greatest risk of developing asbestosis is among individuals exposed to asbestos due to the nature of their job. Few such jobs are listed below.

  • Miners of asbestos
  • Aircraft and automobile repair workers
  • Operator of boilers
  • Employees in the building industry
  • Electricians
  • Railroad personnel
  • Workers in mills and refineries
  • Shipyard personnel
  • Workers are removing older buildings' steam pipes' asbestos insulation.

The quantity and length of asbestos exposure are typically connected to the risk of asbestosis. The risk of lung injury increases with exposure levels.
Household members of exposed workers may be exposed to secondhand infection of asbestos fibres is easily possible through garments. Asbestos fibres dispersed into the air may also be exposed to people who live close to mines.


Prevention

The best way to prevent asbestosis is to limit your asbestos exposure. Employers in construction and other businesses that operate with asbestos products must take extra precautions. There is a risk of asbestos fibres being discharged into the air and inhaled when asbestos-containing products are broken.
As long as asbestos is contained and unaltered, there is little risk. Always have certified and skilled asbestos professionals examine, fix, or remove your asbestos-containing goods.


Diagnosis

Asbestosis can be challenging to diagnose as its signs and symptoms are similar to those of many other respiratory disorders.

Physical tests

Your health care practitioner will talk to you about your medical history, profession, and possible asbestos exposure as part of the evaluation process. Your doctor will use a stethoscope to carefully listen to your lungs during inhalation to check whether they make a crackling sound or not
To help with diagnosis, several tests could be required.

Tests for imaging

With these exams, your lungs are visualised:

Chest X-ray:

Chest X-ray:Taking iron supplements and medications, iron-rich food, blood transfusions, surgery, or even cancer treatment. Iron is given through an intravenous (IV) infusion mostly in chronic kidney disease (CKD).

CT scan:

CT scan:Computerized tomography, cross-sectional images of the bones and soft tissues inside your body are created by combining a number of X-ray views acquired from various angles during a CT scan. These scans typically offer more information and may be able to identify asbestosis early on, even before it manifests on a chest X-ray.

Pulmonary function tests

Your lungs' efficiency is assessed with pulmonary function testing. These exams check your lungs' capacity to store air as well as their airflow.
You could be instructed to blow as forcefully as you can into a spirometer during the examination. Oxygen delivery to your bloodstream can be measured by thorough pulmonary function testing.

Diagnostic procedures

Your healthcare professional may occasionally extract fluid and tissue for testing in order to look for asbestos fibres or aberrant cells. Testing might involve:

Bronchoscopy

A small tube (bronchoscope) is inserted into your lungs after passing down your throat and into your mouth or nose. The bronchoscope has a light and a tiny camera that the doctor can use to look within your lungs' airways for any anomalies or, if necessary, take a fluid or tissue sample (biopsy).

Thoracentesis

In order to remove extra fluid for lab analysis and to improve your breathing, your doctor will first administer a local anaesthetic before inserting a needle into your chest wall between your ribs and lungs. Your doctor might use ultrasonography to help them place the needle.


Treatment

The effects of asbestos on the alveoli cannot be reversed with medication. Treatment targets symptom relief, reducing the disease's course and avoiding consequences.
Depending on the severity of your condition, you may require routine follow-up care at regular intervals, including lung function tests and chest X-rays or CT scans. Respiratory infections should be treated as soon as possible to avoid consequences.

Therapy

Your doctor might advise taking supplementary oxygen to help with breathing difficulties brought on by advanced asbestosis. Tiny plastic tubes with prongs that fit into your nostrils or thin tubes attached to a mask that covers your mouth and nose are used for distribution.
Some persons may benefit from taking part in a pulmonary rehabilitation program. The program provides information on enhancing physical activity habits, learning breathing and relaxation techniques, and improving general health.

Surgery

A lung transplant may be an option if your symptoms are severe.


Lifestyle changes and self-care

In addition to receiving medical care:

Avoid smoking

Lung cancer risk rises in the presence of asbestosis. This risk can be decreased by quitting smoking. Try to stay away from secondhand smoking. Smoking may also weaken your lung reserves by doing extra harm to your lungs and airways.

Take vaccine

Speak with your doctor about COVID-19 vaccination, flu and pneumonia shots, all of which can help reduce your chance of developing lung infections

Prevent additional exposure to asbestos

Additional asbestos exposure may make your illness worse.


Do’s and Don’ts

A person with Asbestosis has to follow certain dos and don’ts to manage related symptoms and infections.

Do’s Don’ts
Wear protective clothing when going out in pollution or dust areas Use abrasive or harsh cleaning supplies or equipment that could contain asbestos
Have a qualified asbestos inspector conduct a test before a renovation Smoke or stay where other people are smoking
Take vaccine Forget to take medications
Visit your doctor if you see any symptoms Go to areas with ongoing construction

Asbestosis can cause many other lung problems too. Follow the above tips to prevent complications.


Asbestosis Care at Medicover

At Medicover Hospitals, we have the most trusted team of doctors and medical experts who are experienced in providing excellent healthcare services to patients with compassion and care. Our diagnostic department is equipped with modern technology and equipment to conduct the tests required for diagnosing Asbestosis, based on which a dedicated treatment plan is designed. We have an excellent team of Pulmonologists who diagnose and treat this condition with utmost precision and bring successful treatment outcomes.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1.What are the different types of asbestos, and how do they relate to asbestosis?

Asbestos comes in several forms, including chrysotile and amphibole. Prolonged exposure to these microscopic fibres can lead to asbestosis and other serious health issues.

2.How is asbestosis treated?

Asbestosis treatment may involve a combination of therapies, medications, and lifestyle adjustments. Specialists at Medicover Hospitals personalize treatment plans to cater to each patient's needs.

3.What are the leading causes of asbestosis?

Asbestosis is primarily caused by inhaling asbestos fibres over a prolonged period. These fibres can lead to inflammation and scarring of the lung tissue.

4.What other diseases are related to asbestos exposure?

In addition to asbestosis, asbestos exposure is linked to diseases like lung cancer and mesothelioma. Early detection and specialized care are crucial for managing these conditions.

5.How do I know if I've been exposed to asbestos?

You might have been told if you've worked in industries where asbestos was prevalent or lived in buildings with asbestos-containing materials. Consulting a specialist can help assess your risk.

6.What makes the asbestosis specialists at Medicover Hospitals the best choice?

The specialists at Medicover Hospitals are experienced in treating asbestosis and offer personalized care, staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in treatment.

7.How can I book an appointment with an asbestosis specialist at Medicover Hospitals?

You can easily book an appointment through the hospital's website or dedicated helpline. The hospital personnel will walk you through the procedure.

8.Is asbestosis treatable, or is it a progressive condition?

While there is no cure for asbestosis, early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can significantly slow its Progression while improving a patient's well-being and quality of life.

9.Can family members of asbestos workers be at risk for asbestosis?

Yes, secondary exposure to asbestos fibres can occur when family members are exposed to contaminated work clothing or through close contact. It's essential to be aware of the risks and seek medical advice.

10.Are there any preventive measures individuals can take to avoid asbestosis?

Limiting asbestos exposure is critical. If you work in industries at risk of asbestos exposure, follow safety protocols and seek regular check-ups. If you suspect past exposure, consult a specialist for assessment and guidance.