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Occupational Asthma (cont.)

What are the symptoms of occupational asthma?

Patient Comments

In most people with occupational asthma, the symptoms appear a short time after beginning work and subside after leaving work.

  • Many have no symptoms or milder symptoms on days they do not work. The symptoms return when they return to work.
  • In some, the symptoms worsen gradually over the work week, go away over the weekend, and return when the new work week starts.
  • In others, the symptoms are slow to develop and may not be noticed until after leaving work for the day. This pattern makes it difficult to recognize a workplace trigger.
  • In the later stages of the disease, after long-term regular exposure, symptoms may not go away after you leave the workplace.

These are the most common symptoms of occupational asthma. Most people do not have all these symptoms.

Allergy symptoms that occur at work but get better away from work also may be a sign of irritants in the air that could provoke asthma symptoms. The following symptoms could occur:

  • Eyes: itchy, burning, or watery
  • Nose: itchy or stuffy, sneezing
  • Skin: itchy, red, or irritated

When to Seek Medical Care for Occupational Asthma

If you have asthma symptoms at work that get better away from work, make an appointment with your health-care provider promptly.

If you have occupational asthma, you should have an action plan worked out in advance with your health-care provider. This plan should include instructions on what to do when an asthma attack occurs, when to call the health-care provider, and when to go to a hospital emergency department.

Although asthma is a reversible disease, and treatments are available, people can die from a severe asthma attack.

  • If you are having an asthma attack and have severe shortness of breath or are unable to reach your health-care provider in a short period of time, you must go to the nearest hospital emergency department.
  • Do not drive yourself to the hospital. Have a friend or family member drive. If you are alone, call 911 immediately for emergency medical transport.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/22/2016

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Occupational Asthma:

Occupational Asthma - Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience from occupational asthma?

Occupational Asthma - Treatment

What treatment did you receive for your occupational asthma?

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