What Are Some Symptoms of Asbestosis?

Symptoms of asbestosis include shortness of breath upon exertion that gets worse as time passes, pain or tightness in the chest, coughing, clubbing of nails and nail abnormalities, according to MedlinePlus. Exposure to asbestos may result in asbestosis, but symptoms may not develop for 20 years or more after exposure.

A chronic lung disease in which the scar tissue forms in the lungs and inhibits normal expansion and contraction of the lungs, asbestosis may occur when a person inhales asbestos fibers, explains MedlinePlus. The severity of the disease is dependent on the amount of asbestos fibers the person inhales and the length of time he breathes in the asbestos.

When using a stethoscope, a doctor may hear a crackling sound in the lungs of a person with asbestosis, states MedlinePlus. A chest X-ray, a CT scan of the lungs, pulmonary function tests and a gallium lung scan assist the doctor in diagnosing the condition.

As of 2015, there is no cure for asbestosis, advises MedlinePlus. Aerosol medications can thin the fluids in the lungs, and doctors can remove fluids that accumulate in the lungs using drainage, chest percussion and vibration. The patient may require supplemental oxygen. In some cases, a lung transplant is necessary.