When people think about diseases that arise from asbestos exposure, the most common disease brought up is mesothelioma. However, this is not the only disease that can arise from asbestos exposure. Another dangerous disease that asbestos exposure can lead to is asbestosis.
Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease, which is caused by inhaling fibers of asbestos. The fibers get trapped in the lungs. They cause shortness of breath, scarring and other symptoms.
The symptoms of asbestosis range. People with less exposure may have a milder form of the disease, while those exposed to greater quantities may develop severe complications.
What are the symptoms of asbestosis?
There are many symptoms of asbestosis. These may overlap with the symptoms of other similar diseases, which is why a diagnosis is important.
- Chest tightness
- Pain in the chest
- Clubbing of the toes and fingers
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath
Asbestosis can lead to the lung tissues becoming so stiff that they can't expand or contract normally. This is what makes it so hard to breathe with this condition.
Certain people are more likely to develop this condition than others. Individuals who are typically affected include:
- Shipyard workers
- Railway workers
- Aircraft mechanics
- Auto mechanics
- Asbestos miners
- Boiler operators
Anyone who is exposed to asbestos at any time could suffer from this condition, though it is more common in those who are exposed regularly.
If you have asbestosis, it's important to know your rights. There are legal steps you can take to seek compensation and support so that you can get the medical care you need.