Pleural Disease and Asbestosis are the two (2) non-malignant asbestos related conditions. For these two diseases, there are no cures at this time. Treatment is typically palliative care which is treatment that attempts only to reduce the severity of the symptoms, relieving and preventing discomfort and suffering and is not administered as curative medicine. Antimicrobial therapy can be administered if the disease results in an infection; however, drugs are not effective in the treatment of asbestosis or pleural disease. Corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs do not alter the course of the diseases.
Symptoms of asbestosis and pleural disease include the following:
- Shortness of breath
- A persistent and productive cough (a cough that expels mucus)
- Chest tightness
- Chest pain
- Loss of appetite
- A dry, crackling sound in the lungs while breathing in
Aerosol medications and/or oxygen can be administered to appease or mitigate the symptoms. Physical therapies can be implemented such as pounding your chest and back repeatedly with your hands or a device to loosen the mucus from your lungs so that you can cough up the phlegm. You may also sit with your head tilted down, or lay on your stomach with your head down to help drain the mucus from your lungs.
But the most important thing once diagnosed with an asbestos related condition is to prevent the progression of the disease. Avoid any additional exposure to asbestos or any carcinogens and do not smoke. Food, rest, and exercise are essential in maintaining good health which will help mitigate the symptoms of an asbestos related disease. Taking care of your body will inevitably result in better health which will help you to breath easier: Be mindful of good nutrition. A healthy diet consists of a balance of fruits, vegetables and proteins. The proper diet is key in maintaining muscle mass and body functions. Watch your sodium or salt intake Drink lots of fluids– six to eight glasses daily is the recommended amount unless your doctor has instructed otherwise. The average person needs about eight (8) hours of sleep every day. Your body needs this time to recuperate and .mend itself. If you find yourself tiered or fatigued during the day, take short naps An appropriate exercise routine will strengthen both your muscles and your heart and lungs – a critical part of breathing easy.
Maintain cleanliness. Keep yourself and your surroundings free of germs and bacteria. The lungs and lung functions of someone with asbestosis or pleural disease are already impaired. Prevent infection, and avoid the risk of colds and flu. Get flu and pneumonia shots annually which should be administered sometime between September and December.
Asbestosis and Pleural Disease are progressive diseases. It is imperative that you get annual physicals, maintain open communication with your doctor and continually monitor your condition. Individuals who have been diagnosed with a non-malignant asbestos related condition are at an increased risk of developing lung cancer, mesothelioma and other non-pulmonary malignancies such as colon cancer, stomach cancer, laryngeal cancer, pharyngeal cancer and esophageal cancer.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos related condition, we can help you. Preserve your legal rights before time runs out. Our experienced Florida asbestos attorneys at Reyes, O’Shea & Coloca, P.A are dedicated to the fight for the rights of these individuals stricken with mesothelioma and other asbestos related conditions, who were unknowingly exposed and put at risk. Each case is handled individually and given the attention and priority it deserves by our carefully trained legal team.