Asbestosis is caused by the inhalation of asbestos particles over a long period of time. These particles become lodged in the lungs and in the mesothelium, which is a membrane in the body that supports and protects the heart, lungs and abdomen. Usually, it takes up to 10 years after exposure to asbestos for a person to start to experience the effects of asbestosis. The symptoms of the disease are primarily that the afflicted person becomes fatigued very easily, and they experience an increasingly severe shortness of breath. While the latter symptom is minor at the start, in severe cases it results in complete respiratory shutdown, and can be fatal. Note that coughing is not a symptom, but may be indicative of other respiratory problems caused by asbestos, including lung cancer.
Asbestosis is an incurable disease. Treatments for it include oxygen therapy, which can help people overcome their shortness of breath. Other types of treatment work to help the drain the lungs of any fluid buildup, but all of these treatments are only temporary measures. While the disease is not immediately fatal, it is something that a person must live with for the rest of their natural lives.
The only real recourse for a person suffering from asbestosis is to file a claim against the entity at fault for exposing them to asbestos. Many companies used asbestos heavily in their construction projects, despite knowing about the materials toxic effects on people. This negligence means that they are liable for any financial burdens incurred by those suffering from asbestosis or other asbestos related illnesses. This can include any wages lost due to being unable to work, any medical expenses. Victims may also be awarded general pain and suffering damages. There are many lawyers who specialize in handling asbestos related cases. Call one of them for a consultation to determine if you have a viable claim.