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Asbestosis is a type of pulmonary fibrosis caused by asbestos exposure typified by excess connective tissue in the lungs. Because the disease manifests in the lungs, common asbestosis symptoms include respiratory problems such as coughing, swelling in the neck or face, cracking sound when breathing, or difficulty swallowing.
Fibrosis usually occurs due to the lungs reacting to and repairing damage to lung tissue over a long period of time; such as, continuous exposure to asbestos fibers. This reparative scar tissue replaces normal lung tissue, and an excess amount of scar tissue can cause reduced pulmonary function.More Asbestosis Symptoms
During exposure, asbestos fibers are inhaled, and they can become lodged in lung tissue. The sharp, straight shape of the fibers makes them difficult for a body to dislodge and expel. Once in a body for a long period, the fibers cause irritation, inflammation and scarring, which cause symptoms that primarily affect the lungs.
In most asbestosis patients, symptoms develop within 20 to 30 years after being exposed to asbestos. If someone is exposed to asbestos for a long time, a decade or more, the latency period of symptom development is shorter: closer to 20 years.