Information for Healthcare Professionals on Work-related Asthma

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There are two main categories of work-related asthma:

  • Occupational asthma – new onset asthma caused by the workplace environment.
  • Work-exacerbated asthma – previously diagnosed asthma that worsens in a workplace environment.

Healthcare professionals should consider work-related asthma for any working patient experiencing new or worsening asthma symptoms or using a rescue inhaler more frequently.

Once a healthcare professional makes a diagnosis of work-related asthma, the most important therapeutic action is to prevent further work-related exposure. This includes recommending:

  • Changes in workplace practices and policy
  • Adjusting job tasks
  • Changing jobs (rarely needed)

A thorough occupational and medical history is crucial for identifying and managing these patients.