Occupational Asthma is Asthma that is caused as a direct result of working with certain harmful substances, know as respiratory sensitizers. When respiratory sensitizers are inhaled into the lungs over a long period of time, some people develop Occupational Asthma. Prolonged exposure to respiratory sensitizers without adequate protection can lead to the development of severe, chronic Asthma.
Occupational Asthma can take a long period of time to develop, this can vary based on the substance, the amount of exposure and the health of the person involved. The symptoms experienced usually worsen during the working week whilst at work. These symptoms include breathlessness, difficulty catching your breath and Asthma attacks. Symptoms then improve when you are away from work for several days, perhaps if you are on holiday. Other symptoms you might experience include sneezing or a runny nose, itching, or suffer with conjunctivitis; itchy, red and inflamed eyes.
If you are concerned that you might have Occupational Asthma you should visit your doctors and explain your concerns. Your doctor should then refer you to a respiratory specialist who can assess working conditions and the level of your exposure. If Occupational Asthma is confirmed your doctor should advise your employer to relocate you away from the respiratory sensitizers.
Being diagnosed with Occupational Asthma doesn’t mean you must leave your job, however, you may feel that leaving work is the only option available. You can discuss your requirements with your employer. If it does result in you leaving your employment, Centenary Solicitors will investigate whether you are eligible to claim for compensation from your employer.