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Asbestosis: difficult to treat, impossible to reverse

There is no doubt that exposure to asbestos is dangerous. It can cause irreparable damage to a person's lungs and other vital organs, and it should be avoided when at all possible. Unfortunately, millions of people were exposed to asbestos decades years ago and may not have even been aware that they were at risk of breathing in toxic fibers.

Since then, thousands of people die every year from illnesses caused by that exposure. One such asbestos-related illness is asbestosis. This chronic lung disease can be devastating and sadly, there is no way to cure or reverse this condition. However, there are treatments available that can improve and extend a person's life and getting help sooner rather than later can be crucial.

Asbestosis, like other illnesses caused by exposure to asbestos, can be very difficult to diagnose. According to Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of this condition mimic those of other conditions that have nothing to do with asbestos, which means that people often have to go through several different types of tests and treatments to rule out other potential causes.

However, once a diagnosis is made, effective treatment can be sought. This might require a person to undergo surgery or therapy, and devices to make breathing easier may be available.

The expense of visiting doctors, undergoing tests and taking medication can prove to be overwhelming. In addition to these medical bills, there can be costs stemming from lost wages, credit card bills that can start piling up and other expenses that can be difficult to manage when a person is in failing health.

In order to recover some or all of these costs, many people often turn to the courts. Filing a lawsuit against the party responsible for the exposure to asbestos in the first place can be an effective way to pursue compensation for the damages suffered as a result of an asbestos-related illness. Rather than try to take on this complicated -- but critical -- process alone, people in this situation typically work with an attorney who can fight for the rights of victims hurt by exposure to asbestos.

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