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Asbestosis Solicitors - Symptoms & Diagnosis - Injury Compensation Claims - Australia

LAWYER HELPLINE: 1800 339 958

Asbestos related diseases have been recognised for more than a century however it is only since 1991 that the use of asbestos and asbestos products has been outlawed in Australia. Due to the long period of time passing (the latency period) between exposure to asbestos fibres and development of obvious symptoms, which can be as long as 50 years after exposure, it is anticipated that new diagnoses of asbestos related diseases will continue to rise until about the year 2020. Our asbestosis solicitors deal with all types of asbestos related disease including compensation for asbestosis, pleural disease and asbestos lung cancer. If you believe that you are suffering from an asbestos related disease our asbestosis solicitors are able to arrange for you to be urgently examined by a medical consultant. We are able to provide detailed legal advice and pursue lung cancer, asbestosis, pleural disease and mesothelioma claims on a no win no fee basis. We offer advice at no cost on asbestosis compensation claims from specialist personal injury solicitors with no further obligation.

Asbestosis Symptoms and Diagnosis

Asbestosis is generally a disease of construction workers, miners of asbestos, shipyard workers and other types of industrial workers. It can be a disease of the family members of these workers, who inhale asbestos fibers when their loved one brings the mineral home on their clothing.

Asbestos is a mineral that, when broken up, creates two types of fibers, amphiboles and chrysotile. The chrysotile isn't significantly dangerous because it is curly and water soluble, disappearing from the lungs over time.

The amphibole fibers, on the other hand, are not water soluble and are long and spiky so that they invade lung tissue, settling in the pleural tissue, which is the lining of the lung or the chest wall. If it invades the abdomen, it settles on the peritoneal tissue, which is the lining of the abdominal organs and abdominal wall.

The symptoms of asbestosis come from the body's response to these amphibole fibers. The first symptoms of asbestosis don't usually become obvious until you have been exposed to asbestos from about 20-30 years ago. In theory, you can have a heavy exposure to asbestos thirty years ago and not since then and can still develop asbestosis.

The first signs and symptoms of asbestosis is shortness of breath. You can often feel well at rest but experience shortness of breath on exertion. After awhile, you will experience shortness of breath even at rest and may need supplementary oxygen in order to feel better.

As the disease gets worse, there is an increasing cough. The cough is usually a dry cough but can be productive of blood or mucus, depending on how irritated the bronchial tree is from the asbestosis. Intermittent chest pain, which can be dull and achy or sharp, occurring during inhalation and exhalation, can also be a later sign of asbestosis. The onset of sharp chest pain occurring with inhalation and exhalation is called "pleuritic chest pain".

The last symptom to occur with asbestosis is what's known as "clubbing of the fingers". Finger clubbing is a sign of advanced lung disease and lack of oxygen. The tips of the fingers get bigger and the nails curve around the club-shaped fingers. Clubbing of the fingers can occur with other types of lung disease, too, and is simply a sign of low oxygen in the system.

If you have known asbestosis, you need to quit smoking if you are a smoker because the combination can yield worsened shortness of breath and congestion of the bronchial tree. You are also at a greater risk of getting mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the lung that has a survival rate of much less than ten percent after 5 years.

There is little that can be done about asbestosis once the symptoms have begun. Certainly, you should stop smoking and reduce or eliminate exposure to asbestos. Fortunately asbestos has been banned since 1975 in most instances; however, it is still used in a few industries. Treatment is focused on comfort measures with inhalers used to open the bronchial tree and oxygen used to provide more oxygenation to the system.


LAWYER HELPLINE: 1800 339 958