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Winter Cold or Occupational Asthma...

Posted By Stephanie Hancox on 2017-09-22 14:16

With the winter season coming in its easy to mistake the primary symptoms of a winter cold for Occupational Asthma. With over 5.4 million individuals suffering from asthma in the UK alone; you could easily be or know someone who makes up the 1 in 12 people who suffer from asthma. 

So who is at the most risk of developing Occupational Asthma?

Some of the below jobs are obvious in terms of the chance of developing asthma but not all. Even if you don't see your current job listed below, these are just the highest places with cases of allergic occupational asthma.

  1. Vehicle Spray Painting
  2. Farmers, Vets or individuals who work with animals.
  3. Soldering / Engineering
  4. Woodworking
  5. Healthcare
  6. Bakeries
  7. Hairdressers

Just like the typical winter cold, the primary symptoms of an occupational allergy or asthma are as follows.

   - Itching 
   - Sneezing / Runny nose
   - Tightness and wheezing in the chest
   - Shortness of breath
   - Coughing

 If any of these surpass a couple weeks (typical length of a winter cold), then this is a strong indication of the development of occupational asthma; At this point it's highly important to speak to your occupational health nurse/technician if you have one to help identify 1) whats causing your symptoms and 2) what steps and / or procedures can be put in place to ensure symptoms don't progress.

With the proper successful regular lung surveillance, an employer is more likely to pre-determine where improvement may be needed to ensure all employees are fit to work in their stated job roles. Unfortunately, in the case of an allergy caused within the workplace, an employer should consider not only reviewing safety regulations to ensure the safety of other employees but also to find the best solution for their employee. This may include moving the employee to reduce their exposure to the specific irritant or changing the employee's job role so eliminate any risk of exposure to irritants. 

Here at Healthscreen, we take each employees health as a priority and put every effort into ensuring that your team is able to work efficiently without health problems interfering through the use of Respiratory surveillance along with many other Occupational Health surveillance and assessments we offer. 



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