Asbestos-Related Diffuse Pleural Thickening At Work

A major cause of diffuse pleural thickening at work is employees’ lengthened exposure to the substance asbestos. A decade or so who have been exposed are more at risk to develop the disease. Pleural thickening is a lung condition that describes scarring or thickening of the lining that surrounds the lungs usually due to inhaled asbestos. When these fibers get into the pleura of the lungs, they can cause the thickening problem in the lungs. This condition has tendencies to bring about a feeling of tightness in the chest or difficulty breathing.

Types of non-malignant pleural condition

There are two major types of pleural conditions which are not cancerous and affect the external lining of the pleura. One is diffuse pleural thickening and the other type is pleural plaques. Both of these are typically related to long protracted exposure to asbestos.

  • Diffuse pleural thickening is more severe as compared to pleural plaques. The regions of the lungs that get affected are broader than those of the pleural plaques. Employees who have this condition because of years of working with asbestos at work are allowed to file a personal injury claim for pleural thickening compensation. If a physician has diagnosed a worker to have acquired this disease because of his work setting, he can communicate with a personal injury lawyer to ask for advice on whether he can make a personal injury claim to support his medical needs.
  • Pleural plaques resemble pleural thickening. It is a condition that affects the external lining of the lung that brings about scarring. The difference from the other type is that the scarring is localized and not spread in big areas. Contrary to pleural thickening, individuals who have pleural plaques do not experience weakened functioning of the lung. Pleural plaques are not as serious as pleural thickening. In a lot of incidences, there have been no symptoms and patients can have normal lives unconstrained by the illness. In addition, there has been no indication to imply that a person who is affected by pleural plaques can get worse and develop a more severe illness that is associated with exposure to asbestos such as asbestosis. It there are no indications of pleural disease, there is no urgent need for treating pleural plaques. However, it is recommended to be clinically examined and that if the person smokes regularly he should think seriously of quitting the habit.

How asbestos fibers affect the lungs

Pleural thickening happens as asbestos fibers get into the lungs through inhalation. The fibers set themselves in the thin membrane of the lungs or the pleura which cover the lungs and the interior of the rib cage. As the fibers become embed within the pleura, they can cause calcification or fibrosis. When this area thickens, the lung’s elastic property will cause it to have problems with normal functioning. Patients may complain with chest pains or labored breathing. Diffuse pleural thickening is a benign problem that needs to be diagnosed, addressed, and continually observed by a specialist. Otherwise, the condition may be aggravated and become a more severe form of asbestos-related disease.