Asbestosis Lawyers in NJ
Inhaled asbestos particles can cause a scarring of the lung tissue called pulmonary asbestosis. Over a long period of time (the latency period is 10 to 30 or more years), microscopic asbestos fibers that are retained in the lung tissue can cause scarring to occur in the alveoli; the tiny balloon-like structures in the lungs where oxygen is distributed to the blood vessels. It takes many years for this scarring to become visible on an x-ray or CT-scan.
Pulmonary asbestosis is not treatable or curable. It is a progressive disease that gets worse over time and never goes away. Some people, however, can have pulmonary asbestosis that is visible on an x-ray and have no symptoms. Similarly, many people who develop pulmonary asbestosis never see or feel a progression of their disease.
Symptoms include shortness of breath or an inability to take a deep breath, fatigue, dry cough, rales or crackles at the base of the lungs which can be heard with a stethoscope and are not cleared by coughing and clubbing or bloating of the fingertips.
In severe, end-stage asbestosis, a victim of this disease cannot live without supplemental oxygen and it may eventually lead to death by slow suffocation. Pulmonary asbestosis can also lead to a heart problem called cor pulmonale which occurs when a persons weakened lungs cause the heart to over-exert itself in an effort to adequately oxygenate the blood.
Other names for pulmonary asbestosis are pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial fibrosis, lung scarring, diffuse linear opacities (on x-ray) and pneumoconiosis.