Information for Healthcare Professionals on Work-related Asthma
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.