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4 Serious Illnesses Linked to Asbestos Exposure

4 Serious Illnesses Linked to Asbestos Exposure

Breathing is the most common and easiest way for asbestos to enter the body, and materials that contain asbestos are not considered dangerous unless they are releasing fibers into the air that could be breathed in or ingested. These fibers become trapped within the mucus membranes in the throat and nose. They may be removed, but sometimes they travel deeper into the lungs or in the digestive tract. As they become trapped inside of the body, they will start to cause problems.

Asbestosis

This progressive and chronic lung disease is caused by inhaling fibers of asbestos over long periods of time. Over time, these fibers cause scarring of the lungs which becomes hard and rigid, preventing the lungs from working properly. Persistent coughing, chest tightness, and breathlessness are just a few of the symptoms associated with the lack of oxygen. Asbestosis may get worse over time leading to respiratory failure as well as death, with no cure for the disease. It is diagnosed by a lung function test or an x-ray. This disease is not seen in those who have never worked with asbestos, and is not usually caused by long range exposure. The most risk is for those who are demolishing or renovating a building that contains asbestos. Precaution should be taken for those who are working in these types of buildings.

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Pleural Disorders

The tissue that is present to line the chest cavity and cover the surface of the lungs is called the pleura. Asbestos exposure will produce thick patches, called plaques, on the pleura or may cause sprawling fibrosis of the pleura, as well as fluid in the chest cavity. These pleural disorders are not cancerous, but they will show up on an x-ray for diagnosis. Although there may not be any outward symptoms, it will show a reduced lung capacity when tested through a lung function test.

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Malignant Mesothelioma

This is a rare cancer that affects the pleura. This is where it beings, and then it will spread to the lungs and then to the chest walls. Although rare, it will sometimes make its way to the heart. Currently, there is no cure, and it is associated with long exposure to asbestos. Each year, there are about 200 cases of mesothelioma diagnosed in the United States. 65 year old David Hoff was just awarded $8.75 million in a mesothelioma lawsuit. The money covers his medical bills as well as his pain and suffering, past, present, and future. A product he used for work in the 70’s knowingly contained asbestos, thus exposing him to the harmful side effects many years later.

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Lung Cancer

There is a significant risk of lung cancer in those who are exposed to a large amount of asbestos over an extended period of time, and this risk is actually substantially greater in those people who are smokers as well. After the tumor appears on the lung and is not treated, it will grow and spread over the lungs and eventually to the rest of the body. A persistent cough is the first sign of those who are diagnosed with lung cancer. After asbestos exposure, lung cancer may take anywhere from 10 to 20 years to develop. In one study, it was found that those who have worked around asbestos and also smoke are almost 90 times more likely to develop lung cancer than those people who have never been exposed to asbestos and do not smoke.

In the 1980’s, the majority of building materials were made with asbestos, exposing millions of young workers to the fibers during this period of time. People who have worked in drywall, insulation, home building, automotive engineering, and industrial manufacturing make up most in a list of those who are affected with asbestos related health problems and cancers. Because of this, many companies are facing lawsuits regarding their role in civilian exposure to cancer causing asbestos.

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Last Updated on June 13, 2019

5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

Sleeping next to your partner can be a satisfying experience and is typically seen as the mark of a stable, healthy home life. However, many more people struggle to share a bed with their partner than typically let on. Sleeping beside someone can decrease your sleep quality which negatively affects your life. Maybe you are light sleepers and you wake each other up throughout the night. Maybe one has a loud snoring habit that’s keeping the other awake. Maybe one is always crawling into bed in the early hours of the morning while the other likes to go to bed at 10 p.m.

You don’t have to feel ashamed of finding it difficult to sleep with your partner and you also don’t have to give up entirely on it. Common problems can be addressed with simple solutions such as an additional pillow. Here are five fixes for common sleep issues that couples deal with.

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1. Use a bigger mattress to sleep through movement

It can be difficult to sleep through your partner’s tossing and turning all night, particularly if they have to get in and out of bed. Waking up multiple times in one night can leave you frustrated and exhausted. The solution may be a switch to a bigger mattress or a mattress that minimizes movement.

Look for a mattress that allows enough space so that your partner can move around without impacting you or consider a mattress made for two sleepers like the Sleep Number bed.[1] This bed allows each person to choose their own firmness level. It also minimizes any disturbances their partner might feel. A foam mattress like the kind featured in advertisements where someone jumps on a bed with an unspilled glass of wine will help minimize the impact of your partner’s movements.[2]

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2. Communicate about scheduling conflicts

If one of you is a night owl and the other an early riser, bedtime can become a source of conflict. It’s hard for a light sleeper to be jostled by their partner coming to bed four hours after them. Talk to your partner about negotiating some compromises. If you’re finding it difficult to agree on a bedtime, negotiate with your partner. Don’t come to bed before or after a certain time, giving the early bird a chance to fully fall asleep before the other comes in. Consider giving the night owl an eye mask to allow them to stay in bed while their partner gets up to start the day.

3. Don’t bring your technology to bed

If one partner likes bringing devices to bed and the other partner doesn’t, there’s very little compromise to be found. Science is pretty unanimous on the fact that screens can cause harm to a healthy sleeper. Both partners should agree on a time to keep technology out of the bedroom or turn screens off. This will prevent both partners from having their sleep interrupted and can help you power down after a long day.

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4. White noise and changing positions can silence snoring

A snoring partner can be one of the most difficult things to sleep through. Snoring tends to be position-specific so many doctors recommend switching positions to stop the snoring. Rather than sleeping on your back doctors recommend turning onto your side. Changing positions can cut down on noise and breathing difficulties for any snorer. Using a white noise fan, or sound machine can also help soften the impact of loud snoring and keep both partners undisturbed.

5. Use two blankets if one’s a blanket hog

If you’ve got a blanket hog in your bed don’t fight it, get another blanket. This solution fixes any issues between two partners and their comforter. There’s no rule that you have to sleep under the same blanket. Separate covers can also cut down on tossing and turning making it a multi-useful adaptation.

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Rather than giving up entirely on sharing a bed with your partner, try one of these techniques to improve your sleeping habits. Sleeping in separate beds can be a normal part of a healthy home life, but compromise can go a long way toward creating harmony in a shared bed.

Featured photo credit: Becca Tapert via unsplash.com

Reference

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