Patients with asbestosis are highly prone to bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Hence the primary mode of treatment would be to contain the infections. Respiratory tract infections, when it occurs, can be efficiently treated with antibiotics. Pneumococcal and influenza vaccines are administered as a part of the treatment regimen to prevent complications from these infections.
Supportive care in the form of oxygen therapy, steroids and nebulizers may be offered to the patients depending on the severity of the disease. In advanced cases lung transplantation may be advised.
An important adjunct to treatment would be to stop asbestosis exposure as soon as possible. Secondly, the individual must be advised to stop smoking as it plays a direct role in disease progression.
Prevention measures, such as wearing a protective mask with a supply of clean air, and strictly following recommended methods to control asbestos fibres and dust, can be adopted by the high-risk work force.
In industries, substitution with a less harmful variety of asbestos, dust control measures, periodic medical examination of the employees, rotation of work station for the employees and good ventilation facilities can help to minimize the risks.
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