Managing Asthma At Work

Working with Asthma in your Occupation

Managing Asthma At WorkAsthma is one of the most common, albeit more serious, forms of allergies. However, unlike other common allergies, the symptoms associated with asthma are often more serious. Because the condition primarily affects the respiratory system, if it gets out of hand you might as well end up in the emergency facility of a hospital.

Asthma produces a host of signs and symptoms that are centered on the smaller airways. Inflammation can severely narrow the diameter of the airways making the flow of air significantly hampered. Add to this the increased mucus secretions as well as periodic spasms in the smooth muscles of the airway and you can already have a picture of a life-threatening situation.

You may think of an industrial workplace or “dirty job” as a place where you may be exposed to things that could make your asthma worse. But, exposures to allergens and irritants in an indoor office spaces are equally as important to consider when you have asthma. Office buildings can be a threat to lung health if not properly maintained.

Guide to Controlling Asthma at Work

Identify your asthma triggers at work.
Eliminate sources of unhealthy air
Use safer cleaning products whenever possible.
Use safer chemicals and machinery.
Use respiratory protective gear to avoid exposure to workplace hazards.
Avoid tobacco smoke.

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Asthma in Workplaces

 Unfortunately, the work you do may aggravate your asthma. There are some occupations that predispose you to the development of asthma such as those that involve flours or grains as well as chemicals, strong cleaning products, and animal allergens. Some aggravating factors can also worsen your asthma condition. These can include smoke, gases, dust, and cold dry air.

Managing Asthma in the Workplace

how to manage asthma in the work place As much as possible you need to be employed in an environment where there are no known triggers of asthma. If this is not possible, choosing a work environment that uses allergen-free technology will be your next best bet. However, if this is not again possible, you may need to reduce your exposure to asthma trigger by wearing personal protective devices and equipment.

The following can also help you better manage your asthma at work.

  • Always carry your prescription or anti-asthma drugs such as oral and inhalation corticosteroids. These drugs can provide immediate relief whenever you feel like having an asthma attack. However, caution should be taken when operating machinery because one of the most common side effects of these medications is drowsiness.
  • Take your daily dose of leukotriene inhibitors. These drugs have a longer lasting therapeutic effect than corticosteroids giving you ample protection against an asthma attack while you are at work.
  • Manage your stress. Stress has been largely described as the single most important factor in inflammation because it releases certain substances that can initiate a cascade of inflammatory reactions. Learning a few stress management techniques at work will do a lot of wonder to your asthma.
  • Include a diet that is low in protein and high in carbohydrates, preferably fruits and vegetables that contain quercetin, a bioflavonoid with unquestionable effectiveness in reducing the symptoms of asthma. Stay away from polyunsaturated fats as well as animal-based proteins.

Managing asthma at work will require your absolute understanding of what can trigger your asthma attack. Since it will be virtually impossible to remove all known asthma triggers at work, you can nonetheless protect yourself from being affected by these asthma triggers.