What should you know about atelectasis?

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2022 | Asbestos |

Asbestos exposure over a prolonged period of time can have numerous ill effects on the human body and especially the lungs. Atelectasis, a breathing complication that arises from inhaling foreign objects, is just one of them.

This condition may affect the entire lung or parts of it, creating a collapse within the lung itself. It can inhibit a person’s breathing to a significant degree. It also takes time to prevent the condition from worsening.

What is atelectasis?

Mayo Clinic discusses the breathing condition called atelectasis. The symptoms usually manifest in the victim’s inability to draw a full breath. They may experience wheezing or coughing due to this trouble. They may also experience general shallow breathing.

If a victim does not seek timely and proper treatment for this condition, they may risk even more serious complications. If the lungs cannot pull oxygen into the alveoli, it could result in low blood oxygen levels. Mucus is also more likely to accumulate in a lung that has suffered from a collapse, which can lead to pneumonia and other pulmonary illnesses.

These effects can even threaten a victim’s life, specifically when it comes to vulnerable individuals.

How do you identify and treat it?

Doctors will use ultrasounds, x-rays and CT scans to determine the extent of the damage to the lungs. They may recommend physiotherapy to help build the collapsed lung back up, optimizing breathing. Devices like CPAP may be used to deliver a fresh flow of oxygen, while air-pulse vibrator vests can help with mucus accumulation.

Thus, with the proper medical care, recovery from this issue is well within a victim’s reach.