What is Asbestosis?
Asbestosis is a breathing disorder caused by inhaling asbestos fibers.
Prolonged accumulation of asbestos fibers in your lungs can cause scarring of lung tissue and shortness of breath. This condition is known as asbestosis. Asbestosis symptoms can range from mild to severe, and usually don’t appear until years after exposure.
Symptoms of asbestosis include:
- shortness of breath, initially only with exertion but eventually even while resting
- decreased tolerance for physical activity
- chest pain
- finger deformity (clubbing) in some cases
Asbestosis may cause such a reduced flow of oxygen as to be disabling or even fatal. It can also lead to complications like high blood pressure in the lungs, heart problems, lung cancer, other lung damage including those affecting the lining of the lungs and chest cavity, the pleura. These include pleural thickening and hardening (pleural plaques), and abnormal accumulation of fluid between the layers (pleural effusion).
Asbestosis itself does not increase your risk of developing mesothelioma, but it indicates that you were exposed to asbestos and therefore are also at risk for developing malignant mesothelioma.
Source: The Mayo Clinic