Description of Asbestosis
A disease of the lungs that is a form of PNEUMOCONIOSIS, caused by the inhalation of asbestos dust.
Persons most commonly affected by Asbestosis
Men in middle or older age who have been exposed to asbestos dust over a number of years.
Organ or part of body involved in asbestosis - lungs.
Symptoms and indications of Asbestosis
The early stages of the disease produce symptoms that include breathlessness, tiredness and persistent cough. Later, the person may suffer from severe breathing difficulties, cough up blood, experience disturbance of sleep and pain in the chest, and develop congestive heart failure. There is a serious risk of the development of MESOTHELIOMA or LUNG CANCER, which also produce these symptoms. A person with these symptoms should seek medical advice. The condition is not curable, but various drug treatments can help to alleviate the symptoms. These include bronchodilators, analgesics and antibiotics for infections. Also, bronchial drainage may be needed to remove excess fluid and the use of a humidifier to ease breathing.
Causes and risk factors of Asbestosis
Asbestos has been used in many industries in the past, although less widely today since the risks have been known. Anyone working with asbestos should keep to strict health and safety procedures, including the wearing of protective clothing and measures to suppress the dust. The particles of asbestos dust cause scarring of the lungs and risks of disease or cancer are greatly increased by smoking.