Strong Justice For Serious Disease

How do doctors diagnose an asbestos illness?

On Behalf of | May 4, 2021 | Asbestos

Developing an asbestos illness in Pennsylvania is less common than it used to be because of federal regulations dealing with the use of that substance, but it still happens. You should follow the safety procedures when handling asbestos to avoid falling ill. Symptoms of asbestosis don’t always show up immediately. It can take years before you notice signs of asbestosis.

Physical examination

Doctors often start with a physical examination to investigate what’s going on with your health. Your doctor will use a stethoscope listen for a crackling noise when you breath. They will also inquire about your asbestos exposure risk if you or they suspect you could have an illness from this mineral.

Pulmonary function tests

You may have to take pulmonary function tests so that your doctor can assess how much air you’re breathing and how well your lungs are functioning. If your test doesn’t have good results, they’ll investigate more to determine what’s causing problems with your lungs.


Doctors might pass a bronchoscope (thin tube) through your mouth or nose leading down into your lungs to examine your lung’s airways. There is a tiny camera at the end of the bronchoscope. During the bronchoscopy, they might obtain a tissue or fluid sample as well.


This procedure involves sticking a needle between your rib cage and lungs to gather a fluid sample from your lungs. Doctors give you a local anesthetic to block the pain. Some doctors use an ultrasound guidance for inserting the needle.

CT scan

Your doctor may take CT scans, which are a series of X-rays, to find out if you have asbestos illness. CT scans are better than simple chest X-rays because they can catch asbestos illness in its early stages. Chest X-rays usually only catch this health condition in its advanced stage.

Asbestosis is difficult to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to other respiratory illnesses. Once it has been, however, you could have a claim against the party that exposed you to it, such as your employer.