Diagnosis for Asbestosis is made using tests such as:
1. Chest X-rays or CAT scans depending on the level of detailed accuracy the doctor requires. The scarred tissues will be visible in these images.
2. In addition, Pulmonary (or Lung) Function Tests are prescribed to measure how much air your lungs can hold and the airflow in and out of your lungs.
It is important that the patient provides details of work environment and activities to his/her doctor at the time of them making a diagnosis
Treatment of Asbestosis usually focuses on relieving symptoms and avoiding exposure to asbestos areas. Apart from this, it is recommended to abstain from smoking in the duration of taking symptomatic therapy. Often,
1. Oxygen therapy is prescribed to counteract breathlessness.
2. Physiotherapy including chest percussions, massage and vibration to drain pleural fluid is advised.
3. Nebulization with prescribed medication is also undertaken.
4. Corticosteroids or other such immunosuppressors may be used under doctor’s consultation to relieve other symptoms of asbestosis.
5. To counteract immunosuppressants that may cause reduced immunity leading to frequent colds and flus, pneumonia and flu vaccines are administered.
6. Medications that relax blood vessel walls are given.
7. In rare cases, a lung transplant is done.
Complications may arise depending on the level and duration of exposure to asbestos fiber inhalation.
1. Generally, thinning of blood vessels occurs over a period of time due to fibrosis at various points of the ling and a resulting inner swelling of arteries. This leads to high blood pressure.
2. This pulmonary hypertension can lead to heart failure.
3. Cancer of the lungs is more prevalent in those asbestosis patients who smoke since a combination of tobacco and other toxic ingredients of a cigarette along with the asbestos deposit start the growth of carcinoma cells.
4. Pleural thickening, formation of calcium deposits in the pleura and abnormal accumulation of fluid between the membranes may occur.