Preparing for your appointment

You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor for the disorder's most common symptom — shortness of breath. He or she might refer you to a doctor specializing in lung problems (pulmonologist).

What you can do

Before your appointment, you might want to write a list of answers to the following questions:

  • What are your symptoms and when did they start?
  • Have your symptoms stayed the same or gotten worse?
  • What kind of work have you done in your career? Be specific.
  • Have you been involved in any home-remodeling projects or other building renovations occurring over a long period of time?
  • Do you or did you smoke? If so, how much?
  • What medications and supplements do you take?

If you have had chest X-rays in the past, you might want to bring along copies of the images so your doctor can compare them to your current imaging tests.

What to expect from your doctor

During the physical exam, your doctor will use a stethoscope to listen carefully to your lungs to determine if you make a crackling sound while inhaling.

July 13, 2016
References
  1. What are asbestos-related lung diseases? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/asb/asb_all.html. Accessed June 17, 2016.
  2. Asbestosis. AskMayoExpert. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  3. Learn about asbestos. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. https://www.epa.gov/asbestos/learn-about-asbestos#asbestos. Accessed June 17, 2016.
  4. Broaddus VC, et al., eds. Pneumoconioses. In: Murray & Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 17, 2016.
  5. Goldman L, et al., eds. Occupational lung disease. In: Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 17, 2016.
  6. King TE. Asbestosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 17, 2016.
  7. Sen R. Working with asbestos and the possible health risks. Occupational Medicine. 2015;65:6.
  8. Roggli VL, et al. Pathology of asbestosis — An update of the diagnostic criteria: Report of the asbestosis committee of the College of American Pathologists and Pulmonary Pathology Society. Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. 2010;134:462.
  9. Ferri FF. Asbestosis. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2017. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 17, 2016.
  10. What is COPD? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Copd/Copd_WhatIs.html. Accessed June 17, 2016.