Occupational asthma is a disorder in which substances found in the workplace cause the airways of the lungs to swell and narrow. This leads to attacks of wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. The number of people with asthma continues to grow. One in 12 people (about 25 million, or 8% of the U.S. population) had asthma in 2009, compared with 1 in 14 (about 20 million, or 7%) in 2001. More than half (53%) of people with asthma had an asthma attack in 2008. More children (57%) than adults (51%) had an attack. 185 children and 3,262 adults died from asthma in 2007. About 1 in 10 children (10%) had asthma and 1 in 12 adults (8%) had asthma in 2009. Women were more likely than men and boys more likely than girls to have asthma.
In 2010, 3 out of 5 children who have asthma had one or more asthma attacks in the previous months. For the period 2008–2010, asthma prevalence was higher among children than adults. In 2008 less than half of people with asthma reported being taught how to avoid triggers. Almost half (48%) of adults who were taught how to avoid triggers did not follow most of this advice. Occupational asthma can be treated the same as regular asthma, with inhaled medicines called bronchodilators that open (dilate) the airways as well as inhaled anti-inflammatory medicinesglucocorticoids