Occupational asthma is asthma that's caused or worsened by breathing in chemical fumes, gases, dust or other substances on the job. Like other types of asthma, occupational asthma can cause chest tightness, wheezing and shortness of breath.
When treated early, occupational asthma may be reversible. Long-term exposure to allergy-causing substances can cause worsening symptoms and lifelong asthma.
Treatment for occupational asthma is similar to treatment for other types of asthma, and it generally includes taking medications to reduce symptoms. But the only sure way to eliminate your symptoms and prevent lung damage due to occupational asthma is to avoid whatever's triggering it.
Jun. 12, 2014
- Occupational asthma. Tips to remember. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/at-a-glance/occupational-asthma.aspx. Accessed Nov. 14, 2013.
- Malo J, et al. Occupational asthma: Clinical features and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 14, 2013.
- Voelter-Mahlnecht SF. Occupational asthma. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2011;2:76.
- Bauer X, et al. The management of work-related asthma guidelines: A broader perspective. European Respiratory Review. 2012;21:124.
- Chan-Yeung M, et al. Occupational asthma: Definitions, epidemiology, causes and risk factors. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 14, 2013.
- Standard interpretations. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=22340. Accessed Nov. 15, 2013.
- Chan-Yeung M, et al. Occupational asthma: Management, prognosis and prevention. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 14, 2013.
- Fanta CH. An overview of asthma management. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 15, 2013.
- National Asthma Education and Prevention Program: Expert panel report III: Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma. Bethesda, Md.: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/asthma/asthgdln.htm. Accessed Nov. 15, 2013.
- Engler RJ, et al. Complementary and alternative medicine for the allergist-immunologist: Where do I start? Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2009;123:309.
- Breathing exercises and/or retraining techniques in the treatment of asthma: Comparative effectiveness. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. http://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/index.cfm/search-for-guides-reviews-and-reports/?productid=1252&pageaction=displayproduct. Accessed Nov. 20, 2013.
- Martin RJ. Alternative and experimental agents for the treatment of asthma. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 20, 2013.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.