Is your nagging cough related to your job?

Jan 18, 2018 | Dangerous Workplaces

Do you come from a family who have worked in manufacturing plants through the years? If so, you share your history with thousands of other Illinois residents who have earned incomes in various blue-collar industries for decades. In fact, you may have gone straight to work at a factory right out of high school, thus carrying on a tradition set before you by your parents and grandparents. Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed a happy, successful career with a steady paycheck.

There is a downside, however, to manufacturing work and other jobs that can be hazardous to your health. Danger often lurks in the form of asbestos that workers might ingest if they have not been forewarned or provided the proper training and equipment necessary for safety. By the time 2030 rolls around, there will have been as many as 200,000 or more asbestos-related deaths throughout the nation. If you have health concerns and believe your situation might have something to do with asbestos exposure, you’ll want to know where to seek support.

Proper diagnosis is important

It’s easy to procrastinate when it comes to lingering feelings of ill health. Perhaps there are days you simply don’t feel right but can’t put your finger on an underlying cause. You resolve to make a doctor’s appointment then 10 obstacles arise that prompt you to postpone it. Concerning asbestosis and other respiratory diseases, the earlier you seek intervention, the better. The following list shows symptoms that warrant medical examination, especially if you have been working near asbestos:

  • Chest pain or other upper body discomfort that won’t subside no matter what you do to try to alleviate it.
  • Acute or lingering lack of appetite. A cold or virus may also impede your desire for food; however, if weeks or months go by and you still don’t feel like eating, there may be a more serious reason.
  • Do your fingernails or fingertips look abnormal? If your hand appearance has changed, it might be a sign that you are suffering from an asbestos-related illness.
  • Chest tightness is a major sign of a heart attack. However, if you have never had heart trouble, it may also signal a type of cancer or respiratory illness related to asbestos exposure.
  • Any persistent or dry, hacking cough is definite cause to seek immediate medical attention.

Shortness of breath is another symptom that might arise from a number of underlying adverse health conditions, one of which might be asbestosis or mesothelioma, both illnesses caused by asbestos exposure. If you visit a doctor, it’s crucial to inform him or her that you work or used to work in an environment that exposed you to asbestos. You may already be aware that most asbestos-related illnesses are terminal. However, you should be able to secure the best treatment available to help alleviate your symptoms and improve quality of life wherever possible.

Others in Illinois and elsewhere in the U.S. have gone a step further to file legal claims in connection with asbestos-related illnesses. It’s understandable that the desire for justice may be strong when someone’s negligence causes another person illness or injury.

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