Many people are not aware of the symptom of asbestos exposure. Asbestos exposure can lead to asbestosis. Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease caused by exposure to asbestos or asbestos fibers for a long time. Asbestos is a type of mineral that is usually used by some people for the installation of floor or roof of the building. Asbestos that is still in good condition is not harmful to human health.
However, when the abscess is damaged, the material can release fine dust containing asbestos fibers. Dust containing asbestos fibers vulnerable to human inhalation. As a result, the lungs that inhale asbestos fibers can be gradually damaged. This condition inhibits breathing and absorption of oxygen in the bloodstream.
Recognize the symptom of asbestos exposure
Asbestosis is commonly experienced by industrial workers, especially in the 1970s and 1990s. Symptom of asbestos exposure usually occurs only years after asbestos exposure occur continuously. Here are some signs of asbestosis:
- Chest or shoulder pain.
- Dry cough continuously.
- Under severe conditions, the fingernails become round, dilated, or enlarged.
- Increased appetite followed by weight loss.
- Breath becomes short or tight.
- Severe fatigue.
Asbestosis occurs after a person inhaling dust containing asbestos fibers for a long time. Dust with asbestos fibers is trapped in the alveoli (air bag in the lungs) and form scar tissue so that the lungs become stiff. The rigid lung tissue makes the organ unable to inflate and deflate normally. As a result, the patient becomes difficult to breathe. This condition can become more severe if the patient is accustomed to smoking.
Diagnosis and treatments of the symptom of asbestos exposure
When a person is suspected of experiencing asbestosis from his or her symptoms, the doctor will begin a physical exam, especially to see the lung function. Scanning through chest X-ray is important. Another check that can be done is a lung function test with the help of a device called a spirometer. This examination aims to measure the work of lung organs in inhaling, storing, or exhaling the air. In addition, this test can also be used to measure the amount of oxygen that can be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Another test that may also be used to confirm the occurrence of asbestosis is CT scan. This scan can complement the results of a chest X-ray examination to see the condition of the lungs more clearly. To see the presence of asbestos fibers in lung tissue, doctors may perform lung biopsies.
One treatment of asbestosis is the oxygen delivery therapy. This therapy aims to improve the patient’s breathing ability, especially if the blood oxygen levels are very low. Oxygen therapy is performed by a machine or oxygen tube that can drain oxygen through the hose placed. Other types of therapies that may be suggested are pulmonary rehabilitation. This therapy includes exercises, discussions, and medical advice that can be applied to reduce asbestosis symptoms.
During the period of treatment, periodic examination still needs to be done. The examination includes lung function tests and chest scans. The distance of the examination depends on the severity of symptom of asbestos exposure.