Whendiagnosing asbestosis, your GP will first ask about your symptoms and listen to your lungs with a stethoscope (a medical instrument used to listen to the heart and lungs).
If your lungs have been affected by asbestos, they will usually make a crackling noise when you breathe in.
Your GP will also ask about your work history, particularlyabout periods when you may have been exposed to asbestos, how long you may have been exposed, and whether you were issued with any safety equipment, such as a face mask, when you were working.
Ifasbestosis issuspected,youwill be referred to a specialist in lung diseases for tests to confirm any lung scarring. These may include:
Before confirming a diagnosis of asbestosis, the chest specialist will also consider and rule out other possible causes of lung inflammation and scarring, such as rheumatoid arthritis .
Asbestosis is a chronic (long-term) lung condition caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a soft, greyish-white material that does not burn.
Asbestosis is caused by breathing in asbestos fibres. People working in certain trades are more likely to have been exposed to asbestos in the past.
When diagnosing asbestosis, your GP will first ask about your symptoms and listen to your lungs with a stethoscope.
There is no cure for asbestosis, as the damage to the lungs is irreversible. However, you can take steps to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Although asbestos is no longer widely used in the UK, it's still important to take precautions to reduce your risk of exposure, because it's still found in many old buildings.