A benign pleural disease is an asbestos-related disease which still has something of mystery to experts, since they don’t know why some asbestos workers get one of several benign diseases of the pleura while others are not affected by the terrible consequences of Asbestos.
The pleural cavity is the space between the lungs and the chest wall, which has an small amount of pleural fluid in the normal non-diseased state. The pleura is the epithelium that lines this cavity. Asbestos fibers can reach this part of the body.
The parietal pleura, which is connected to the chest wall, is highly sensitive to pain. Meanwhile, the visceral pleura, which is connected to the lung and other visceral tissues, is not sensitive to pain.
The function of pleura and pleural fluid is to reduce friction between the lungs and the inside of the chest wall during breathing. Asbestos fibers make difficult this. A benign pleural condition usually does not progress and is not fatal. These conditions include pleural plaques, diffuse pleural fibrosis and benign pleural effusion.
Pleural effusion occurs when fluid accumulates in the pleural space and compresses the lungs.
Pleural plaques is a discrete fibrous or partially calcified thickened area which can be seen on x-rays of individuals exposed to asbestos. Benign pleural diseases appear various years after the exposure to asbestos and according to some experts cause little or no trouble, since some people do not even show symptoms. However, having a benign pleural disease may be the sign of developing asbestosis or another asbestos-related disease later.
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