Pleural thickening is a condition whereby the lining of the lungs, the pleura, suffer extensive scarring. This can prevent the lungs from properly expaning and can cause breathlessness as a result.
There are a number of causes of pleural thickening including:
- Inflammatory disease
With the above causes, pleural thickening usually only occurs in one lung, whereas with asbestos-related pleural thickening, we would expect to see it in both lungs, or bilaterally. If someone has been exposed to airborne asbestos fibres, it is inevitable that they will have inhaled them into both lungs.
Inhalation of asbestos dust can cause fibres to settle in the lungs which in turn can cause scarring, calcification and thickening of the pleura.
Unlike other chronic asbestos conditions such as asbestosis, lower levels of exposure to asbestos can put someone at risk of developing pleural thickening.
However, as with other asbestos conditions, there is a similar latency period of between 10 and 50 years from the asbestos exposure to symptoms of pleural thickening developing.
As the lining of the lungs become thickened, the lungs cannot expand to their full capacity and so breathlessness, particularly on exertion, is a common symptom of pleural thickening.
The extent to which pleural thickening is affecting a person’s lung function can be assessed by having lung function tests, which can be arranged through your doctor or the hospital.
In addition to breathlessness, some patients may suffer with chest pain and a feeling of chest tightness.
Pleural thickening is scarring of the lung lining and so, unfortunately, it is irreversible and there is no known cure. There are treatments however that, although will not cure the condition, can alleviate symptoms.
Steroid medication may help to ease symptoms and pulmonary rehabilitation may also be offered. This is a treatment programme of exercise and education for people with chronic lung conditions.
If pleural thickening is causing severe breathlessness, a pleural drain or thoracentesis might be offered. This is a surgical procedure that removes any fluid buildup between the lung and the pleura. This can help to reduce breathlessness and pain.
Making a claim for pleural thickening
We have made countless claims for pleural thickening compensation. Our specialist asbestos disease solicitors will be with you every step of your claim, explaining everything in simple, easy to understand language.
We tailor our service to meet each of our client’s needs, corresponding by post or email as well as by telephone.
If you think you may have a claim for asbestos-related pleural thickening, do not hesitate to contact our expert team today on 01244 312306 or email@example.com. They will advise you whether you can make a no win, no fee claim.
Call and speak to a member of our team on 01244 312306