How To Recognise the early symptoms of asbestosis

Asbestosis is one of the disease associated with asbestos exposure and it is characterized by chronic scarring of the lungs. Thankfully however it is not a life threatening disease although it is chronic in nature. Most of its symptoms are common to other respiratory illness but if you have been exposed to asbestos in the past and you start to experience these symptoms you should start suspecting that maybe you have asbestosis.

Early Symptoms of Asbestosis

Asbestosis symptoms generally show up in three stages. In the earliest stage, it is usually assumed that the mild symptoms are due to general illness, being overweight or simply being out of shape. These are some of the early symptoms of asbestosis:

-Dyspnoea{difficulty in breathing} after exertion or exercise. This is usually the first symptom and it is most often overlooked as a symptom of some other milder commoner respiratory illness. Some other people just assume that they may be overweight.-

-Dry cough, especially a chronic cough that isn't associated with other symptoms. For example, a dry cough that is not associated with fever nor other signs of infection.

-General malaise or easy fatiguability. - -Wheezing can sometimes occur early on as well, especially if the individual is also a smoker.

Mid-Stage Symptoms of Asbestosis

Mid-stage asbestosis symptoms include all of the earlier symptoms, plus:

-Dyspnoea{difficulty in breathing} that has now worsened with Dyspnoea now occurring at rest when the victim is not engaged in any physical activity.

-Recurring chest pain or a feeling of tightness in the chest area. Some people feel like they "can't catch their breath" or that they cannot fill their lungs.

-Clubbed fingers or pitted, uneven fingernails - these symptoms indicate that the concentration of oxygen in the blood is reduced as result of poor absorption of oxygen into the blood stream via the lungs.

-A honeycomb-like appearance of the lungs in an MRI scan film.-

These symptoms of asbestosis are caused by permanent scarring of lung tissue, this causes inefficient transfer of oxygen into the blood stream. Asbestos could also result in the development of other more severe types of asbestos related disease like mesothelioma and lung cancer, so you should also be conversant with the symptoms of these other diseases.

Bello Kamorudeen.


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