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Consistent exposure to asbestos can cause serious health problems. Many people who were exposed to asbestos at work or in their home experience trouble breathing or consistent coughing that makes it difficult to breathe, work, or function regularly. This condition is known as asbestosis.

Sadly, there is no known cure for asbestosis except for a lung transplant in certain patients, but a diagnosis at an earlier stage of the disease can result in more flexible treatment options. Being able to recognize the common asbestosis symptoms can also open up your legal options for pursuing compensation after exposure. To learn more about the payment options you might be entitled to, reach out to our office.

Why Asbestosis Occurs

Asbestos use in products in the United States peaked in the 1980s, but it was never made illegal, and is still used even today in many products. Industries such as railroads, heavy manufacturing, shipyards, and many others used it despite knowing since 1910 that it would be deadly to workers.

Asbestos contains trillions of small fibers that can enter the air. Inhaling these fibers can lodge them in the lungs, which can severely limit the function of these vital organs. For many people, the clinical diagnosis of asbestosis does not occur for decades after their last exposure to asbestos. For this reason, it is vital that potential patients be able to recognize the potential warning signs of asbestosis.

Common Symptoms of Asbestosis

There are certain signs of asbestosis that individuals should look out for if they believe they were exposed at some point. These signs include:

  • A persistent, dry cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Dry or crackling sounds upon inhalation
  • In severe cases, fingertips or toes that appear rounded at the ends, also known as clubbing

Each of these examples indicates that a person’s lungs may not be functioning as well as they should. Anyone experiencing these symptoms after long-term exposure to asbestos should seek medical help right away a contact a lawyer to go over their legal options.

How a Doctor May Diagnose Asbestosis

Doctors have the expertise to extensively examine patients and determine not only whether they have asbestosis, but also what courses of treatment may be most suitable. If a doctor suspects asbestosis, they may listen more closely to a patient’s breathing with a stethoscope. This will help them more clearly hear the crackling often associated with asbestosis. They may also order imaging tests such as a chest X-ray or CT scan to reveal and identify pulmonary anomalies. Finally, doctors may perform pulmonary function tests to check lung functions. This gives a doctor the most complete possible picture to order a course of treatment for an asbestosis patient.

This testing and treatment can be draining and expensive. A lawsuit could provide individuals with asbestosis some financial relief during this difficult time.

Recognizing Symptoms of Asbestosis Gives Patients the Best Chance

Asbestosis is an unfortunately common condition. However, the symptoms of asbestosis may only appear decades after initial exposure.

For this reason, being able to recognize asbestosis symptoms as quickly as possible improves a doctor’s ability to provide effective treatment. The sooner this condition is discovered, the sooner it can be addressed, and the sooner legal action can be taken. Contact us at Brayton Purcell, L.L.P. to get started.