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How to prevent occupational asthma?

Industries and environments whose employees have a heightened exposure to substances known to cause occupational asthma can take measures to diminish or eliminate the amount of pollution in the atmosphere or decrease the number of

workers exposed to it.

Regular medical screening of workers in these environments may enable doctors to diagnose occupational asthma before permanent lung damage takes place. Reduction in exposure to the occupational trigger is the most important step that can be taken along with appropriate medical management. Even with appropriate medications, continued exposure may make the asthma more difficult to control.

OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is a government agency that has created guidelines that determine acceptable levels of exposure to substances that may cause asthma. Employers are required to follow these rules.

Persons at increased risk because of a family or personal history of allergy or asthma should be aware of potential hazards of entering trades with obvious hazards and seek advice. Periodic medical surveillance may allow early identification of affected workers before they have any permanent lung damage.

If a worker begins to have asthma symptoms due to occupational exposure, the disease usually can be reversed and permanent lung damage prevented by changing jobs. Sometimes, a transfer to a different location within the same plant is helpful. Because changing jobs may cause a severe financial hardship, such a recommendation should be made only after careful medical evauation.


More information on occupational asthma

What is occupational asthma? - Occupational asthma is a form of lung disease in which the breathing passages shrink, swell, or become inflamed or congested as a result of exposure to irritants in the workplace.
What causes occupational asthma? - There are many agents in the workplace that can cause occupational asthma. More than 240 causes of occupational asthma have been identified.
What're the symptoms of occupational asthma? - Symptoms and signs of occupational asthma include coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath.
How is occupational asthma diagnosed? - The history reveals a pattern of worsening symptoms of occupational asthma associated with exposure to a specific agent or workplace environment.
What's the treatment for occupational asthma? - The objective of treatment for occupational asthma is to limit exposure to the allergen and improve symptoms with bronchodilator therapy.
How to prevent occupational asthma? - Reduction in exposure to the occupational trigger is the most important step to prevent occupational asthma.
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005