There are two main categories of work-related asthma: occupational asthma and work-exacerbated asthma.
- Occupational asthma is new-onset asthma caused by an occupational environment.
- Work-exacerbated asthma is previously-diagnosed or coincident asthma that worsens in an occupational environment.
Work-related asthma should be considered for any working patient who is experiencing new or worsening asthma symptoms or using a rescue inhaler more frequently. Once work-related asthma is diagnosed, a healthcare provider’s most important therapeutic action is to prevent further occupational exposure by recommending workplace changes, job accommodations, or rarely change of job. Therefore, a thorough occupational and medical history is crucial for identifying and managing these patients.