Posted on January 06th, 2021
Lung function tests (also called breathing tests) can reveal reduced lung function caused by scarring of lung tissue, which stems from prolonged exposure to asbestos. For early detection of lung diseases, former industrial workers, and veterans with a well-traced history with relevance in asbestos exposure need to undergo regularly scheduled lung function tests.
Because inhaled asbestos fibers are most likely to deposit in the upper and lower respiratory tract where they cannot be expelled due to their rough texture, the early symptoms that do form generally affect the respiratory system. A person might be under the impression that they are suffering from a simple respiratory tract infection, not an ailment as serious as:
just to mention a few, which is why it is important to consider if the person suffering has been exposed to asbestos. For doctors, this means going into their work history and having the proper tests run if exposure is suspected. Pulmonary function tests (breathing tests) are valuable tools for detecting and monitoring lung diseases. They can detect occupational lung or respiratory system diseases at an early stage before symptoms are apparent.
If you have a history of exposure to asbestos and you are experiencing increasing shortness of breath, your pulmonologist may order pulmonary function tests in order to give you a precise diagnosis of your condition and choose the best treatment plan. In addition, if you have an existing asbestos-related pulmonary condition, your pulmonologist will order various pulmonary function tests regularly to see whether your body is responding to the treatment.
If you are a military veteran or a former industrial worker experiencing any disturbing pulmonary symptoms, schedule an appointment with a pulmonologist who, based on your past exposure to harmful airborne substances that affect the lungs, including asbestos fibers, will prescribe the appropriate pulmonary function tests for you.
Asbestos fibers are easily inhaled and if one breathes in the fibers over long periods of time, they build up in the lungs and affect their ability to function. Microscopic asbestos fibers become permanently stuck in the lung tissue causing scarring which makes breathing harder due to impaired gas exchange. Some patients, such as those with asbestosis, for example, have a significant decrease in pulmonary reserves, and additional physiological stress may result in respiratory failure.
Asbestos-related pulmonary conditions will usually be diagnosed based on the following findings:
Lung function tests are noninvasive tests used to assess the disability of a person and measure how effectively his/her lungs work. These are used to find the reason behind breathing problems such as shortness of breath which is a common symptom for someone suffering from an asbestos-related pulmonary condition.
The most common pulmonary function tests (breathing tests) recommended for people with a history of asbestos exposure, include:
These tests - useful in evaluating respiratory conditions caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers - measure: