The first step of asbestosis treatment is to end all contact with asbestos, although most people have been exposed in the past and often are retired altogether by the time they develop symptoms of the disease. Smoking multiplies the risk of lung cancer in asbestos and therefore must be stopped if still ongoing. Our Tobacco Education Center offers classes as well as individual consultations with doctors trained in treating tobacco addiction. We help smokers maximize the likelihood of success in their efforts to quit.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for asbestosis. However, there are a variety of treatments available to help manage symptoms.
Patients with asbestosis should receive a flu shot annually and pneumonia shots periodically. Talk to your doctor about how often you should receive a pneumonia shot. We also advise avoiding large crowds to avoid germs.
Sometimes medicines used for asthma are prescribed to people with breathing problems caused by asbestosis. They may be of some benefit depending on your individual response. As with chronic lung disease in general, antibiotics are used to treat respiratory infections.
Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.