Those who are exposed to asbestos fibers in the course of their life are at risk of developing Asbestosis, a chronic lung disease initiated by inhaling asbestos fibers. Depending on the length of time exposed, as well as the number of fibers ingested, symptoms can range from mild to severe. These symptoms typically appear in individuals anywhere from 10 to 40 years after the initial exposure, according to data from the Mayo Clinic. As the symptoms are usually tied to other lung oriented diseases, quick recognition is critical. Below are some key warning signs to look out for.
Shortness of Breath
When asbestos exposure goes unchecked, the ingested fibers can cause scar tissue to form in the lungs over time. Shortness of breath can be the first indicator that something is amiss. When scar tissue forms in the lungs, breathing becomes more difficult until the lungs cannot expand and contract normally.
After shortness of breath comes general fatigue. Fatigue is typically classified as extreme tiredness or a feeling of being tired beyond that which is typical for a given person. If a person can’t seem to summon the same energy they once had, consider whether exposure is possible. When paired with the next symptom, fatigue can also be an indicator that an asbestos-related illness is forming.
A telltale symptom of asbestos ingestion, swollen fingertips occur in at least half of all reported asbestos exposure cases. This phenomenon is also known as clubbing, as the fingertips become broader and rounded.
Wheezing and Dry Cough
Wheezing is denoted by a whistling sound when breathing, especially when taking deep breaths. For non-smokers, this can be an important indicator of asbestos exposure. As scar tissue continues to form over time, a prolonged, persistent cough can also be a strong clue. Dry coughs can form as long as 40 years after the fact, so it is important to consult a physician at the first sign of an abnormal cough.
At D’Amico Law Offices, LLC, we understand the pain and trauma involved with asbestos exposure. By handling each case with a personal touch, we hope to foster a trusting relationship with our clients. If you live in the Pittsburg area and have worked in an industry where asbestos exposure is common and have been experiencing any of the above symptoms, contact our team of legal professionals today by calling (412) 906-8180 for a free consultation about your case.