This is a relatively uncommon problem, however, if you are a blue-collar worker around power plants, your odds increase considerably.
Asbestosis is a dynamic, long-term lung disease that is caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. After several years, the inhalation of these fibers can lead to irritation and scarring in the lungs and shortness of breath, among other symptoms.
Asbestosis is not a cancer but rather a nonmalignant lung disorder. However, it is still a very serious disease that can be disabling and potentially fatal.
Symptoms of Asbestosis
Asbestosis has a long latency period so the symptoms may not become evident for at least 10 to 20 years. However, symptoms can gradually increase over time and include:
• Shortness of breath is the primary symptom
• A persistent and productive cough (a cough that expels mucus)
• Chest tightness
• Chest pain
• Loss of appetite
• Clubbing of fingers
• A dry, crackling sound in the lungs while inhaling.
If you experience any of these symptoms for a prolonged period of time, see a doctor immediately. There are several treatment options that help reduce the severity of these symptoms.