Asbestos-related illnesses are on the rise, and so is the concern of asbestos exposure. People want to know if they have been exposed and what the symptoms might be. Unfortunately, once exposed to asbestos, it could take decades to show up in your body. It has been shown that asbestos can stay dormant in your body for 70 years before showing up as mesothelioma or asbestosis. With the rising concern, it is no surprise that everyone wants to know if their symptoms are allergies or asbestos-related illnesses. Below, we will discuss some of the more common symptoms of asbestos-related illnesses compared to the common cold or allergies.
Tightness in Chest
While tightness in your chest could be regular respiratory problems, it is also a common symptom of asbestos-related diseases. Asbestosis and pleural effusions can cause tightening in the chest. If your symptoms tend to last longer than a few weeks, you should see your doctor to rule out asbestos exposure or other severe illnesses.
Shortness of Breath
Shortness of breath is the number one symptom of asbestos-related illnesses. Asbestos affects your lungs and can cause significant respiratory distress. If you have severe shortness of breath, see your doctor, it could be mesothelioma or another asbestos-related severe illness.
A different Sounding Cough
Coughing is a typical sign of allergies, but if your cough is sounding different or is prolonged, see your doctor. A crackling or hacking cough is a sign of mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other respiratory illnesses caused by asbestos exposure. If your cough has gotten worse or you are coughing up blood, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Asbestos-related illnesses are very severe, and the symptoms do not go away. If you think you have allergies, see your doctor. Allergies should only last for short amounts of time, if your symptoms last longer, it could be from an asbestos-related illness. This is especially the case if you have worked in areas where you may have been exposed to asbestos fibers.