Living With an Asbestos Related Disease

asbestosWith laws prohibiting the use of asbestos as well as strict guidelines on how to deal with any existing material, everyone is aware of the dangers. But up until the 1970’s, asbestos was routinely used by a variety of industries, especially the building trade. From insulating pipes and boilers to strengthening cement or making brakes, it was the era’s favourite material. Its fire proofing qualities made it particularly useful in the dry walling business. Made from tiny fibres, asbestos is an inert material. But once disturbed, its fibres are rapidly released to cause untold damage. When inhaled, it can lead to severe respiratory disease that, over the years, has claimed the lives of thousands. Today, asbestos continues to wreak havoc on the nation’s health. As well as workers exposed to the material, the unsuspecting families at home also inhaled the minute fibres and fell ill.

 

The Impacts of the Disease on Individuals

Inside the body, asbestos particles build in the lungs and, over a period of time, cause serious damage. Perhaps the most familiar disease is ‘Asbestosis’ which leads to scarring of tissue that, in some cases, can lead to cancer. Other asbestos related diseases include Pleural effusion, a gradual accumulation of fluid in the area between the lungs and chest wall. Cancer of the lung as well as the abdomen has also been attributed to the inhalation of asbestos dust and fibres. In each condition the terminology may differ. But the suffering and distress they cause are the same.

Depending on the severity of the disease, symptoms vary. In fact, there may be no sign of a problem until as much as forty years after exposure. Very often, the condition is discovered during a routine chest X-ray or medical check-up. However, apart from pain, shortness of breath is the most distressing symptom common to all respiratory disease. Patients suffering from asbestos related conditions, especially in the latter stages, often need mechanical intervention to assist breathing.

 

Treatment and Lifestyle

While treatment cannot reverse the disease, it can alleviate symptoms and, depending on the severity, slow its progress. Modern drugs can also prevent the occurrence of complications. Patients with chronic asbestosis or other related conditions need continual medical assessment and expert advice. Sufferers as well as their families can benefit from the emotional support offered by local groups and independent health organisations. Hospitals and GP’s are happy to make referrals. There is no doubt that living with the consequences of asbestos poisoning is incredibly difficult for everyone concerned. Apart from the physical and mental challenges, inability to work and loss of income present many with an added financial burden and its associated stress. However, in order to make life a little more secure, it’s worth considering options such as making an Asbestosis Compensation Claim. As many have discovered, with the correct treatment and support life can continue to be full and rewarding.

Lorraine Wylie is a professional author and writer with a special interest in lifestyle and medicine. Lorraine has specialist knowledge in asbestosis compensation claims and other work-related personal injuries.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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