What is Occupational Asthma?
Our jobs can sometimes bring us into contact with substances that can cause asthma to flare up. Occupational asthma is caused by inhaling fumes, gases, dust or other potentially harmful substances while on the job. If you’re exposed to any of these substances at high concentrations, you may begin wheezing and experiencing other asthma symptoms immediately after exposure. Often, asthma symptoms are worse during days or nights you work, improve when you have time off, and start again when you go back to work.
If you already have asthma, it may be worsened by being exposed to certain substances at work. Workers who already have asthma or some other respiratory disorder may also experience an increase in their symptoms during exposure to these irritants. The medical term for pre-existing asthma worsened by workplace conditions is “work-exacerbated asthma.”
If you think you may have occupational asthma, or if your asthma is not under control, seeing an allergist can help.