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What Are The Ways To Prevent Occupational Asthma & Does It Reoccur?

Occupational asthma is a type of asthma, which takes place when a person breathes in gases, chemical fumes, dust and other related substances present on the job.

Especially, it occurs because of your exposure to any of the sensitive substances to cause you an immunological or allergic response.(1)

What Are The Ways To Prevent Occupational Asthma & Does It Reoccur?

What Are The Ways To Prevent Occupational Asthma?

Based on the broad classification, doctors and other experts have recommended the following three prime approaches to control the problem of occupational asthma in any worksite-

Prevention of occupational asthma involves reduction and/or elimination of various environmental irritants and allergens from the workplace.

Early Detection Of The Problem: Doctors recommend using various surveillance measures to detect the problem as early as possible. This step is recommendable even before the onset of asthma-related symptoms in workplace employees.

Strictly Avoid Getting Your Symptoms Worse: You should prevent your exposure or use anything, which is of less harmful to avoid getting your asthma-related symptoms worse.

Detailed Study On Prevention Of The Disease At The Workplace

Employees and employers have to work as a team to create a safe and a fully supportive worksite to reduce the exposure to certain irritants and allergens, while to reduce the negative impact of occupational asthma on productivity and overall health.

For Employers:

Strictly Abide By The Federal Health Rules And Safety Guidelines: According to the OSHA i.e. Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are bound to provide workplaces and/or work environments free from all sorts of recognized hazards.

Specific Institute Programs To Avoid Occupational Asthma: Employers should take important steps by reducing the exposure of irritants and allergens via substitution and elimination. Also, they should provide a suitable respiratory protective device to reduce the occurrence of occupational asthma to some extent in the workplace.

Setup A Surveillance Program To Identify The Affected Workers In Advance: As an employer, you have to look for asthma-related symptoms in advance. Especially, employers should regularly conduct skin tests and lung function tests to identify and confirm the disease in advance.

Train Your Workers About Potential Hazards: You have to include certain precautions and the necessary mechanisms to train your workers to handle potential hazards smartly.

For Employees:

  • You should strictly avoid your exposure to known environmental irritants or allergens.
  • You should take help from a doctor if you experience breathing problems before they prolong or become permanent.
  • You should immediately report about your respiratory symptoms and breakdowns in protective equipment or ventilation systems to the employer. This step will reduce the risk for your co-workers to suffer from occupational asthma.
  • Lastly, you should take proper care of your health if you are an asthma patient i.e. scheduled an appointment with your doctor regularly and take medications as prescribed.(2)

Prevention Steps At An Individual Level

Along with prevention steps at the organizational or worksite level, you may do many things on your own to retain your good health and reduce the possibility related to your occupational asthma attacks. These include-

Quit Smoking: Quitting your smoking habits may help you in preventing or at least reducing your symptoms related to occupational asthma problems.

Flu Vaccination: If your job forces you to work in places, where you often exposed to harmful chemicals or fumes, you should never forget getting a flu vaccination. This step helps you to avoid illness.

Avoid NSAIDs: NSAIDs are the acronyms for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which make your symptoms related to occupational asthma worse. Thus, if you are already an allergic patient, you should avoid using NSAIDs and other similar types of medicines.(3)

Does Occupational Asthma Reoccur?

Occupational asthma may recur in individuals many times. The logic behind this is that when a person takes off from the workplace, his/her symptoms go away but once he/she returns to the job, the symptoms related to occupational asthma repeat even many times.


Occupational asthma is prevented or its symptoms may be managed by following certain preventative steps. However, affected individuals and employers have to stay adhere to strict guidelines as the problem recurs in asthma patients multiple times.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 21, 2022

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