What is Occupational Asthma or Work-Related Asthma? In the workplace, you may expose yourself to allergens such as gas, fumes or dust due to your work environment, which are also known as possible asthma triggers. Have you ever thought about the connection between work and asthma? The following explains more about occupational asthma , also known as work-related asthma.

Definitions and Symptoms

Occupational asthma is a lung defect caused by gases, fumes, dust or other substances present in the workplace due to respiratory narrowing and spasms of the respiratory muscles. The symptoms are similar to other asthma, including wheezing, shortness of breath, cough, and chest tightness. Nasal congestion, eye irritation, tears and runny nose may also occur.

This type of asthma may have different symptoms depending on which allergic substances you are exposed to, how long you are exposed to allergens, what allergic reactions occur, and other causes. Symptoms typically occur soon after exposure to the substance, and after you leave the workplace, symptoms may disappear and may relapse again after you return to work. If you have been exposed to the substance for a long time, you may have chronic or lifelong asthma symptoms. If you do not exercise strenuous exercise but have shortness of breath or symptoms worsen, you should consult a doctor immediately.

Causes and complications

Asthma is caused by swelling of the lungs. When asthma occurs, the respiratory tract swollen and the passage narrows, and the airflow is limited. If the respiratory tract is sensitive, the inhaled substances can induce asthma symptoms. Some workplace substances can cause asthma, including the following:


Plastics, carpets, foam, rubber, adhesives, dyes, anhydrides (also known as dehydrides), artificial resins, insulation materials.


Nickle sulfate, Platinum and Chromium.

Plant ingredients

cereals, coffee beans, flour, cereal, cotton, flax, papain.

Animal substances

hair, pet dander, fur and excreta.

Environmental substances

smoke, chlorine gas and sulfur dioxide.

Cleaning product

Some cleaning products contain enzymes.
If you are exposed to any of the above substances for a long time, symptoms may worsen and develop into permanent asthma symptoms and lung disease.

Risk factors

If you have asthma or allergies, family history of asthma, habit of smoking, you can increase your risk of asthma. Certain occupations also increase the risk of occupational asthma, including bakers, pharmacists, laboratory workers, cleaners, lumberjack workers, farmers, metallurgists, and mills.

Diagnosis and treatment

Occupational asthma diagnosis, similar to any other type of diagnosis, your doctor will ask you about your history and do a health check, followed by an X-ray, pulmonary function, spike exhaler, and nitric oxide test Lung function and use skin allergy tests and irritation tests to determine special pulmonary irritants.

The best way to treat occupational asthma is to avoid exposure to substances that cause asthma symptoms. You can consider changing jobs or shifting to different units to avoid exposure to these substances, or use equipment to protect the respiratory tract.

Asthma medications can help you cope with asthma symptoms. Common medications include the following:

Asthma control drugs: daily to control asthma symptoms such as inhaled corticosteroids, Oral leukotriene modifiers, Inhaled long-acting beta agonists, Combination inhalers, and Theophylline pills.
Rapid asthma relief medications: Provides short-term relief during asthma attacks, such as inhaled short-acting beta agonists, Ipratropium bromide, Oral and intravenous corticosteroids.
Allergen-induced asthma treatment may be required if asthma is caused or worsened. Allergic drugs and allergic needles may be recommended.

Read: Home Environment Triggers Asthma – Ways to Effectively Eliminate Them