Because of its high heat resistance, the naturally occurring material asbestos was widely used in various industries, including building and manufacturing. Asbestos exposure has been linked to serious health problems, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. While many countries have banned asbestos, those who work with or are exposed to asbestos-containing goods are at a higher risk of developing asbestos-related conditions. Read on to learn the tell-tale signs that you’ve been exposed to asbestos.
Signs You May Have Been Exposed to Asbestos
Asbestosis often leads to breathing difficulties. Inhaling fibrous asbestos fibers can irritate and damage lung tissue, making it difficult to take full, deep breaths. It’s possible to have issues with breathing, such as wheezing and a persistent cough. If you experience prolonged difficulty breathing, see a doctor immediately.
Chest pain can also be a sign of asbestos exposure. It might be a severe, stabbing pain, or it could be a dull discomfort. Companion symptoms of chest pain may include shortness of breath or a cough. The discomfort in your chest should prompt an immediate trip to the doctor.
A chronic cough is a cough that lasts for several weeks or months, and it can be a sign of many different health problems, including asbestos exposure. Consulting with a doctor is essential if you are experiencing a cough that won’t go away. A health professional can help determine the cause of chronic coughing and provide recommendations for treatment.
Asbestos exposure, like many other health concerns, often manifests itself as extreme fatigue. See a doctor if you’ve been feeling exhausted without any obvious cause. In order to cure your exhaustion, your doctor must first identify the cause.
Finger clubbing is when the fingers and toes become swollen, and the nails become curved and thickened. This is a known indication of lung disease and can be caused by asbestos exposure.
Several medical conditions, including asbestos exposure, may cause weight loss. Consider scheduling an appointment with your doctor if you’ve lost weight without changing your diet or activity level. Finding out why you’ve been losing weight suddenly might be difficult, but your doctor can assist with this process.
Asbestos exposure is the leading cause of mesothelioma. The disease attacks the organs’ linings, whether in the lungs, abdomen, or heart. It’s common for people with mesothelioma to have pain in the chest, difficulty breathing, blood in their mucus, and a decrease in appetite, among other symptoms. Any combination of these symptoms should call for an immediate consultation with your physician.
How to Protect Yourself from Getting Exposed to Asbestos?
Identify Areas Where Asbestos May Be Present
Insulation, flooring, ceiling tiles, and wall paneling may have been produced using asbestos. With this in mind, living or working in an older structure increases the likelihood that asbestos will be present. Check with the building owner or manager to see if an asbestos inspection has been conducted. If you have a history of working in the construction or renovation industries, it is important to search for job sites with asbestos exposure to determine your risk.
Avoid Disturbing Materials That May Contain Asbestos
Asbestos fibers can become airborne if materials containing asbestos are disturbed. Avoid drilling, sanding, or otherwise disturbing materials that may contain asbestos. Use protective clothing and a respirator if working with these substances is unavoidable.
Hire a Professional to Remove Asbestos-containing Materials
If you need to have materials containing asbestos removed, it is important to hire a licensed professional who has experience in asbestos removal. Attempting to remove these materials yourself can be dangerous and increase your risk of exposure to asbestos fibers.
Factors to Consider When Seeking Treatment for Asbestos Exposure
Find a Specialist
It is crucial to locate a physician with expertise in caring for asbestos-related illnesses. This specialist will have the know-how to diagnose and treat the diseases caused by asbestos exposure and will be current on the latest treatments and clinical trials.
Get a Second Opinion
An additional medical assessment from a different physician or expert is always recommended. This can help you get a more accurate diagnosis and ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatment.
Consider Treatment Options
Various treatment options are available for asbestos-related diseases, depending on the type and stage of the disease. Treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and clinical trials. It’s crucial that you and your doctor talk about all of your treatment choices before settling on the best one for you.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of asbestos-related chronic diseases is important if you have been exposed to asbestos. You must get medical help immediately if you’re suffering any of the aforementioned symptoms. The likelihood of a full recovery increases if symptoms are recognized and treated early.