Currently, there is no medication to stop the damage from asbestos. It may be possible to slow down the disease and decrease symptoms.
When you have asbestosis, your lungs and the muscle around your lungs have to work extra hard to breathe. It is important to work on making your body as healthy as possible so you have the energy needed to breathe. This includes learning breathing exercises, eating well and avoiding things that will cause more lung damage.
The main treatments for asbestosis include:
- Staying away from asbestos – stop your exposure.
- Quitting smoking. If you have asbestosis and you smoke, you are at higher risk for more lung damage and for lung cancer. Get help to stop smoking
- Following an exercise or pulmonary (respiratory) rehabilitation program under a doctor’s supervision.
- Learning about healthy eating and nutrition.
- Washing hands properly. To reduce risks of getting viral respiratory infections, be sure to wash your hands very carefully using proper hand washing technique.
- Getting vaccinations (shots) against the flu and pneumonia. If you already have a lung disease like asbestosis, getting the flu (influenza) or pneumonia could make you really sick. Your doctor may recommend you get the flu shot and the pneumonia shot (PPV vaccine).
- Using prescribed oxygen. Your doctor may order this if the level of oxygen in your blood is low.
- Draining fluid from your lungs, when needed.
- Getting a lung transplant, in some cases.