During the numerous years that you worked around asbestos, you may or may not have known that it put your health, and your life, in jeopardy. Perhaps after a decade or two, you even forgot that your exposure could cause you medical issues.
Then, as the years passed, you began to have trouble breathing. You may find yourself winded just walking around your house. Maybe you smoked for several years, or even continue to do so, and you attributed this to smoking. What you may not realize is that shortness of breath is a significant sign and symptom of mesothelioma.
Understanding shortness of breath
Most people experience difficulty breathing at some point. However, in healthy people, this usually occurs only after strenuous exercise, high altitude or bad air quality, among other things. In the absence of these normal circumstances, trouble getting enough air into the lungs can cause your chest to feel tight. You will have trouble taking a full breath.
The problem can start slowly. You may only have trouble breathing after climbing stairs or running at first. Over time, you may not be able to breathe well walking across your living room or even while you sit still. Under these circumstances, you should not take shortness of breath lightly. It can be an indication of any number of serious medical conditions. In fact, this is a primary symptom of mesothelioma. In addition, you may also experience the following signs of this incurable disease:
- Persistent cough
- Loss of appetite
- Chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Coughing up blood
You could experience other symptoms as well. Even if you don't experience any other symptoms at first, a visit to your doctor is in order if you have trouble breathing. Your doctor will need to know that you suffered asbestos exposure at some point in your past. This could prompt the appropriate testing to determine whether mesothelioma is responsible for your symptoms.
Medical care is expensive
It doesn't matter how good your health insurance is, if you contract an illness such as mesothelioma, your medical bills will be expensive. Because your exposure occurred at work, you may be entitled to benefits that could cover your medical care and other needs. Obtaining the compensation you need and deserve is not always an easy process, however. It would probably be best to enlist the aid of a Louisiana attorney experienced in this complex area of law.