Occupational asthma is a form of asthma where the lung and the airways overreact to dust, vapors, gases, or fumes that exist in the workplace. When any of these irritants are inhaled the airway begins to inflame and tighten. The airway tissue swells and mucus is produced. As a consequence breathing becomes difficult.
Occupational asthma is usually reversible, but if exposure to irritants continues, permanent damage to the lung occurs. In a highly sensitive person, even very low level of exposure to irritants may provoke an asthma attack.
Symptom of occupational asthma with includes one or more of the following:
- Tight feeling in the chest
- Shortness of breath
In many cases, the above symptoms may develop several hours after the worker leaves work and then subside before the worker returns to the work the next day. During the early stages of the disease, the symptoms usually disappear or decrease during the weekend or annual leave, only will it reoccur upon return to work.