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Asbestosis is an irreversible lung disease caused by inhaling asbestos fibres. There is currently no cure for this condition, and the treatment options focusing on symptom relief, slowing disease progression, and avoiding complications. The two most commonly used treatments for asbestosis are medications and breathing treatments. Surgery might be recommended sometimes to alleviate symptoms and relieve pain.
The physicians may advise a number of treatment options to alleviate symptoms, in addition to some lifestyle and dietary changes that patients can implement to feel better. There are some medications that can help with pain and coughing. Inhalers, supplemental oxygen, and antibiotics are among the other asbestosis treatment options.
The first step in asbestosis treatment is to avoid all contact with asbestos, despite the fact that most individuals have already been exposed in the past and are often retired by the time the symptoms of the disease appear.
Medications and vaccinations for asbestosis treatment
Bronchodilators, typically prescribed for asthma patients, are sometimes prescribed to help the muscles of airway to relax and provide relief. Secretion-thinning medications are used to thin the secretions and open the airways. Tylenol and Aspirin can help reduce the inflammation and pain caused by asbestosis. If these medications do not relieve the chest pain and other symptoms, a doctor may recommend stronger pain relievers.
Also, asbestosis patients should get a flu shot every year, as well as pneumonia shots on a regular basis.
Pulmonary rehabilitation and oxygen therapy
Another option is pulmonary rehabilitation. When combined with medical interventions, pulmonary rehab is regarded as a long-term strategy for assisting patients, where new breathing strategies, stress management, and smarter exercise techniques are taught. Also, using oxygen tanks or machines may help the patients breathe more easily. Overall, these can help to improve the patient’s quality of life and increase their ability to perform daily activities.
Since shortness of breath and coughing are the two most typical symptoms of asbestosis, palliative care most often aims to alleviate these symptoms. The pleural effusion (accumulation of fluid between the lungs and chest wall) that induces many of the symptoms associated with the asbestosis disease can be managed with two non-invasive surgeries, thoracentesis and pleurodesis.
Transplantation of the Lungs
In rare cases, a lung transplant may be recommended for patients suffering from severe asbestosis. This surgery is usually performed when the patient is battling another disorder, like lung cancer. The one-year rate of survival for patients with lung transplants is approximately 80%, but invasive surgery is frequently regarded as a last resort.
Patients may have to change their lifestyle to help relieve some symptoms, including giving up smoking or reducing their daily physical activity. Some dietary changes can also help, especially early in the disease’s diagnosis. It is also advised to avoid large crowds in order to avoid germs. ‘Slippery elm bark’, an herbal substance, is a natural alternative that can be used for sore throats and coughs, and ‘Astragalus’, a Chinese traditional medicine, is used to treat respiratory functions.
Overall, the most effective way to prevent asbestosis is to avoid exposure to asbestos. If exposure to asbestos cannot be avoided, taking steps to limit exposure, and getting regular check-ups can help detect the disease early and slow its progression.