Is my asthma likely to be due to my work?
How to tell if your asthma is due to your work. Firstly consider the following questions:
- Do you have chest tightness, wheeze, cough or breathlessness?
- Is it better on days away from work?
- Is it better on holiday?
If you can answer 'Yes' to any of these questions and you have breathing problems that are better away from work then you may have occupational asthma. Occupational asthma occurs in smokers and non smokers, occurs in those who have had asthma before and those who haven't and occurs in those who have just been exposed to a new agent at work and those who have been in the same job for many years.
There are many causes of occupational asthma but the management is always the same:
- To find out whether you have occupational asthma.
- To find the cause.
- To remove the cause.
The best results occur when the cause is removed within a year of the first work related symptoms.
If you are in the UK and suspect you have occupational asthma you should go and see your GP. They will tell you what to do from here. Other countries may also have similar methods of finding expert help.
Otherwise you may have to do things yourself, follow the rest of the links to find out how. The most important first step in finding out if you have occupational asthma is to "Measure Your Breathing" (see link below).
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