When you feel worried about a specific medical condition, you are more likely to spot the symptoms. If everyone at your office has recently had the stomach flu, you may quickly recognize the warning signs of that same illness developing in your spouse.
However, when there is a big gap between when someone is put at risk for a condition and when they actually develop it, that person may stop watching for warning signs. Asbestosis is one of several potentially deadly and painful medical conditions associated with workplace asbestos exposure. It can take 15 years or longer for asbestosis to create noticeable symptoms, which means you will need to monitor yourself for symptoms for years after leaving a high-risk job.
What are the symptoms of asbestosis?
Unfortunately, some of the most common and earliest symptoms of asbestosis are relatively generic. People frequently report fatigue, even when performing tasks that were previously easy to them. Loss of appetite and weight loss are also symptoms.
As with many medical issues related to asbestos inhalation, asbestosis can also affect someone’s respiration, causing shortness of breath and cough. One of the more unique symptoms is clubbing of the fingers or toes. Clubbing involves rounding of the fingertips and changes to nail formation.
Rather than ignoring what could just be a cold or a case of the flu, you will want to be proactive about following up on any persistent symptoms that last for more than a week or two if you have previously handled asbestos as part of your job. Recognizing the signs that you may have asbestosis and other asbestos-related illnesses can increase your chances of early intervention and a better prognosis.