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Is your nagging cough related to asbestos?

When you catch a cold or the flu or some other minor illness, you may sneeze and cough until your illness subsides. It's not uncommon to cough if you have allergies, as well. There are certain conditions, however, that are far more serious and necessitate specialized medical care. In fact, some illnesses and infections are so serious, there is no way to cure them. This is often the case for Ohio residents who suffer asbestos-related injuries.

If you're exposed to asbestos, microscopic fibers can lodge in your lungs when you inhale or ingest particles so small, you can't see them with a naked eye. You may not learn you've contracted a terminal illness until much later, when symptoms arise. A nagging cough is often a sign that something isn't right in your body. The more you learn about such symptoms, as well as where to seek support if you fall ill, the better you can cope with a poor health condition.

Why do people cough?

There are many issues that can prompt you to cough. The following list shows the numerous purposes coughing has regarding your body's defense mechanisms: 

  • You can dislodge a stuck piece of food or other foreign matter from your throat by coughing. 
  • Your body may try to expel mucus, microbes or other microscopic particles from your respiratory tract by coughing.
  • If there's a tumor, infection or chemicals in your body, your respiratory system may get irritated or inflamed, thus prompting you to cough. 

You can make yourself cough on purpose, or you may find you have little to no control over a coughing fit. For minor conditions, such as colds or a mild case of flu, you can use any number of remedies to help alleviate symptoms and restore good health.

The physiology of a cough

Do you know what is actually happening in your body when you cough? The following information provides a basic explanation:

  • Your diaphragm contracts.
  • Your lungs compress.
  • This forces air through your windpipe. 
  • It then expels through your mouth.

All these things occur simultaneously, so your body does what it's supposed to do without much thought or effort. There are some illnesses and infections that won't go away. Asbestos exposure is a main factor in many such conditions. If you think it's even remotely possible that you had exposure to asbestos and you have a cough that won't go away, you'll want to seek a medical examination right away and be sure to tell the doctor that you may have been exposed to asbestos.

If your doctor diagnoses an asbestos-related illness

A nagging cough is often symptomatic of mesothelioma or asbestosis, terminal illnesses for which there is no cure. As time passes, your symptoms will likely worsen, and you may have to depend on others for care. You may struggle emotionally as you come to terms with your diagnosis, and you may also want to reach out for legal support, if you believe you suffered injury in the workplace and your employer failed in his or her obligation to keep you safe.

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