Work environments with poor air circulation could expose employees to toxic allergens. Repeated exposure and inhalation may cause severe respiratory illnesses. Common irritants such as dust and chemical fumes could result in adult-onset asthma.
The American Lung Association notes that one out of every six adults with asthma developed the condition from a work environment. About 11 million employees work while exposed to a minimum of one airborne irritant that causes asthma.
Workplace environments may cause employees to develop worsening asthma symptoms
Certain work environments expose employees to a range of harmful irritants and toxic fumes. More than 20% of adults experience worsening asthma symptoms while performing their jobs. When work-related health issues affect employees, they may seek medical treatment. Prompt attention could help recover from a medical condition or prevent it from becoming more severe.
As reported by the Cleveland Clinic, workers with pain or tightness in their chests may have symptoms related to exposure to harmful irritants. Coughing and shortness of breath may also reflect symptoms connected to working in a toxic environment. Employees with these symptoms who inhale powdery substances, flour, wood or cleaning chemicals at work may have developed occupational asthma.
Diagnostic testing could determine the cause of respiratory problems
A visit to a doctor may reveal the severity of a condition, its causes and whether it could lead to long-term respiratory problems. Healthcare professionals typically perform tests to determine the causes of inflammation, pain or breathing issues. Employees could learn what triggers their allergic reactions. They may then take steps to avoid inhaling those particular irritants as much as possible.
Because employees with occupational asthma could need time off from work for treatment and recovery, they may apply for workers’ compensation. In addition to covering the lost time from work, the benefits could cover the required diagnostic tests, prescriptions and inhalers.