Asbestos-Related Lung Diseases | Mesothelioma: Symptoms and Causes of Asbestos Lung Disease

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Asbestosis is a form of pneumoconiosis. This is an asbestos lung disease where damage occurs at the interior areas of the lungs. This is also due to the inhalation of the asbestos dusts. Since the human lungs are made up of alveoli where carbon dioxide and oxygen pass through, there will be interruptions where this natural system is concerned should there be asbestos dusts in the alveoli. These fibers can damage the alveoli extensively.

The dust particles and fibers of the asbestos mineral are so small that one needs a microscope to see them. They are so many times smaller and thinner than the human hair! These fibers have two ways of entering the body - through the mouth and through the nose. The most common effect is asbestos lung disease since they are often inhaled.

Diagnosing an asbestos lung disease can be quite hard. This is because some of them do not show symptoms while others show symptoms that are similar to so many other diseases. You need to get a second opinion based on a thorough health screening. You need to examine your medical history as well as employment history to pinpoint where you have been exposed to asbestos lung disease in the past.

Asbestosis lung disease is the most common form of asbestosis. The fibers that have entered the lungs cause inflammation that the body tries to fight back. The resultant effect is increased fiber deposits (natural body fighting mechanism) leading to a condition known as fibrosis. This causes the stiffening of the lungs and decreased capacity of the lungs to take in air.

If asbestos is left intact and undisturbed, it does not cause a health risk.  Asbestos only causes health risk if it is tampered with, and if the person tampering with it is not wearing a face mask and protective clothing.Many cases of these diseases occurring now are a result of exposure in industries that used asbestos in the past.  A majority of these new cases have mainly affected people working in building and maintenance trades.

Asbestos is a group of minerals that are found naturally in the environment. These are featured as bundles of fibers that can be separated into durable and thin threads. These so-called fibers are resistant to fire, heat and chemicals. They don't conduct electricity. For these reasons, many industries use asbestos.

Treatment of asbestos related disease includes infection treatment, vaccination, and also standard cancer treatments. Oxygen can be inflated in the lungs, so that the fibers stop their destructive activity. People prone to asbestos related disease should stop smoking, if they are smokers. This can prevent the disease from showing up.

Asbestos did not rise again in popularity until the Industrial Revolution. With the increase in usage of machines, people needed something like asbestos as an insulator. As a silicate material, asbestos is incredibly useful in resisting heat, flame, chemicals, electricity, and biodegradation. Its own qualities make asbestos flexible and with high tensile strength. Thus, it is no surprise that it was added to everything from shingles to vinyl flooring to fire doors.

While the exact reaction causing the inflammation is unknown, there are several irritants that are thought to contribute to the disorder. The main cause is environmental pollutants, while drugs, radiation, and other diseases like sarcoidosis and collagen problems can also cause inflammation. Additionally, inhaling asbestos fibers has also been shown to cause interstitial pulmonary fibrosis.

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