Occupational asthma is a disorder in which substances found in the workplace cause the airways of the lungs to swell and narrow. In Germany are mainly benign asbestos-associated diseases (occupational disease no. 4103: 1,975 cases), silicosis/coal worker's pneumoconiosis (occupational disease no. 4101: 1,158 cases), obstructive airway diseases due to allergens (occupational disease no. 4301: 935 cases), chronic obstructive bronchitis and/or emphysema in hard coal miners (occupational disease no. 4111: 414 cases), obstructive airway diseases due to irritants and toxic agents (occupational disease no. 4302: 181 cases), diseases caused by ionising radiation (171 cases), diseases due to isocyanates (occupational disease no. 1315: 55 cases), and 22 cases of other rare occupational lung and airway diseases.
Many people with persistent asthma symptoms caused by substances at work are incorrectly diagnosed as having bronchitis. If occupational asthma is not correctly diagnosed early, and aren't protected or removed from the exposure, it can cause permanent changes to your lungs. Once the cause of symptoms is identified,assure that should avoid exposure to the substance that triggers asthma symptoms and to high concentrations of irritants.Avoid or reduce exposure to irritants that can trigger symptoms in most asthmatics such as smoke or cold air. In some cases, pre-treatment with specific medications to protect against asthma worsened at work may be helpful. In other situations, particularly if very allergic to a substance in workplace, avoiding the substance completely may be necessary