When to see a
If you get asthma
or related symptoms at work, and the symptoms get better when
you are away from work on leave or vacation, contact doctor for
asthma is totally controllable and preventable
disease if person gets right medical attention at right time.
Prolonged exposure can cause permanent lung damage, and some
amount of pulmonary functions may be lost for ever.
If you have occupational asthma you must have an emergency
asthma action plan prepared by your doctor. Emergency medicines
must be available at the factory or unit.
If you have attack, ask a friend to take you to the nearest
hospital emergency department or call for an emergency ambulance
Diagnostic tests and evaluation for occupational asthma:
evaluation for occupational
asthma the doctor will inquire about
your respiratory symptoms and type of work. He will then try to
establish the relation between them. Clearly describe in detail
all the symptoms and when and how frequently they occur. How
they are relieved.
Also describe your
job and job conditions. Chemicals and other substances you are
exposed to ( like gases, dust, fumes, vapors, animal products,
chemicals and other irritants).
Proper diagnosis is essential to ensure that most appropriate
treatment is given.
Gold standard for the diagnosis of OA in the pulmonary
laboratory is a specific inhalation challenge using the
breathing tests will be done to determine the condition of the
All patients with suspected occupational bronchial asthma should
have and assessment to the response to bronchodilators.
Spirometer is a device which measures the air flow rates in
different parts of the airways.
Peak flow meters:
Peak flow meter is a small portable
device used to measure how forcefully a person can blow the air
out of the lungs. This test can also be done at the workplace
during the asthma attack.
Blood examinations including blood gas analysis during
Skin test and serology: They may be used in identifying
the suspected irritant. However selection and preparation of the
agent for skin testing is difficult. The positive test indicates
previous exposure to the agent, but cannot confirm that the same
agent is responsible for the OA.
X-Ray Chest-PAV: Chest radiograph is usually done to rule
out causes other than OA.
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Last edited 22-8-2010