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Health Effects of Pleural Effusions

Fluid that builds up in between the lungs and your chest cavity is known as a pleural effusion. Pleural effusions can cause considerable discomfort for patients diagnosed with the issues, and can be a precursor for future problems.

Unlike pleural plaques, pleural effusions don’t solely resort from long-term exposure to asbestos in the workplace or at home, however, asbestos is considered a leading cause of pleural effusions, along with congestive heart failure, adverse reactions to drugs and more.


Symptoms of Pleural Effusions

If you currently suffer from the following symptoms, it might be time to ask your medical professional about your risk of a pleural effusion: shortness of breath, trouble breathing, dull or sharp pains in the chest cavity, coughing fits, frequent hiccuping and more.

Like pleural thickening, which is the thickening of the protective pleura membrane that coats your lungs, people suffering from a pleural effusion can also be symptom-free, which is why it is critical to report to your doctor any past exposure to asbestos in order to aid in diagnosis.


How to Treat & Test for Pleural Effusions

X-rays of the chest cavity is the sure-fire way to officially diagnosis a pleural effusion in patients reporting those symptoms. Doctors can also run physical tests and checks such as tapping on the chest to make a diagnosis, which can also signify further health-related issues such as cancer.

Depending on the cause of the effusion and its size, treatment will be needed. Certain minor, non-invasive treatment options are available -- for others, a drain must be inserted into the cavity to remove fluid. The latter option might even require a surgical procedure and possible hospitalization.

As you can see, no one wants to suffer from symptoms of untreated asbestos. Test now, and receive fast, accurate asbestos testing results from EMSL Analytical.


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