What Is Asbestosis?
Asbestosis or asbestos poisoning is a chronic lung disease caused by inhaling asbestos fibers over a long period of time. Symptoms largely vary and are not detected until many years of continued exposure.
The Symptoms of Asbestos Poisoning
The symptoms of asbestos poisoning can vary from person to person, in both severity and type. Some people may have all of the symptoms, while others only have a few. They include:
- A dry cough that persists
- Loss of appetite
- Deformities of the finger and toenails
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain and discomfort
- Tightness or pressure in the chest
Asbestos poisoning can remain mild for many years so it may be difficult for you to determine where or when you were actually exposed. It's well known that people who worked in the shipping industry and construction industries are at a much higher risk than others for developing asbestos poisoning. Even if you never worked in these fields, you could have been exposed inadvertently without even knowing it, possibly by living with a family member who worked in one of those industries.
What is the Life Expectancy of Someone with Asbestosis?
Someone who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestosis generally has a life expectancy of up to 12 to 16 months. It can be prolonged up to 21 months if the diagnosis is pleural mesothelioma. Patients with a diagnosis of peritoneal mesothelioma have been able to live for five years or longer. Each person will have a different life expectancy due to their overall health and general lifestyle habits. A person with general good health may live much longer than someone who has other health issues.
Is There a Cure for Asbestosis?
Doctors have not yet discovered a cure for asbestosis. The medical testing involved in diagnosing asbestosis and other pulmonary diseases is extensive. At this time, doctors do their best to slow the progression of cancer and try to make the patient as comfortable as possible. A variety of holistic methods are often included in treatment plans to reduce the side effects of harsh medications.
Is There a Test for Asbestosis Exposure?
Currently, there is no definitive test to identify asbestosis. Doctors will use a patient's occupational history and a variety of tests to examine how a person's lungs function. They will also examine tissue samples to identify any abnormalities or damage leading to breathing difficulties or other issues.
Can I Be Compensated for Asbestosis?
Yes, most cases of asbestosis result from prolonged exposure in the workplace. With your occupational history, your doctor can identify your level of risk and determine whether or not you are eligible to receive compensation. For some individuals, even limited amounts of exposure can result in a successful worker's compensation claim. Individuals who have worked in the construction industry or in shipyards should visit their doctor at the first sign of respiratory distress. Mesothelioma and asbestosis are often misdiagnosed in their early stages. So the earlier you receive your diagnosis, the sooner you can start the claim process.
Can I Sue for Asbestos Exposure?
Yes! The attorneys at Gaylord & Nantais can guide you through the process of filing a worker's compensation claim for asbestos exposure. The amount of time you were exposed to asbestos and the type of cancer or asbestosis you have been diagnosed with will both be considered in determining your level of compensation. Your doctor will work with your attorney to make sure they have all the information they need to pursue your claim.
Many people don't know that they may have been exposed to asbestos in the past. If you begin to show signs of asbestos poisoning, talk to your doctor and get a thorough examination. Once you have a diagnosis, contact Gaylord and Nantais. They are worker's compensation attorneys who can help you get the answers to all of your questions, including where and when you may have been exposed to asbestos.
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