Asbestosis is fibrosis, or scarring of the lungs caused by moderate or heavy exposure to asbestos. It usually progresses slowly and but cause severe breathlessness.
There are other conditions that are similar to asbestosis and to make a diagnosis a doctor has to exclude these other conditions by looking at certain criteria.
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Asbestosis symptoms vary depending upon the severity of the condition but they generally include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Reduced mobility or exercise capacity
It can take between and 10 and 20 years for the symptoms to appear after being exposed to asbestos.
Many people who are eventually diagnosed with asbestosis have a long history of attendances at the GP with repeat chest infections and breathlessness over many years .
Often a GP will send the sufferer for further investigations and tests at hospital. Initially this is usually a chest x- ray which may show the asbestosis. It is then usual for the sufferer to be reviewed by a consultant in the chest clinic of a local hospital where the diagnosis is explained and the options of symptom control can be discussed.
There are other chest conditions which are very similar to asbestosis and present the same symptoms. To assist the treating consultant, it is important that asbestos exposure is discussed with them so this can be taken into account when they come to consider the diagnosis.
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If you or a family member have recently been diagnosed with an asbestos related condition and want to know more about your right to claim and the process involved, click the button or call us on 0800 294 3065.