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New Here: Occupational Asthma - anybody else here with it?

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I'm new here and was diagnosed with occupational asthma 2 years ago after 18 months of investigations. I was redeployed at work which went well initially but these last 9 months have been so hard. not been well all year - atypical pnuemonia for months until it was diagnosed, then another infective flare up later in the year. tons of steroids.. 7 courses in 8 months nearly as many antibiotics..

I can't believe the amount of drugs I have to take to just keep me ticking over!

does anybody else feel this way ? can anybody share what happened to them at work?


5 Replies

Hello warmlight

I am not in exactly the same position as you but similar...

One of my cons ( I have two😐!) says that my long-standing asthma and continuing problems are caused by my work..

I know that my work is very dusty and certainly doesn’t help but it’s not the only factor... he wants me to go to the occupational asthma centre in Birmingham but I am not keen and fortunately atm my other cons is backing my view - it’s very difficult..

I am so worried about losing my job and tbh redeployment is not really an option because of what I do... I love my job too...

Like you - the list of meds that I take to get thro the day is I do sympathise - it is so difficult when work is involved.

I think my work would be understanding and I already have breathing equipment etc provided but I don’t want to cause trouble...

Sorry for the ramble.. but it’s interesting to hear of someone else with an occupational issue...

Do you mind me asking if you attend one of the specialist occupational asthma centres? And if so which??

It does help to know there are others...

Take care


Dear Pipsqueak

Whilst I understand your concerns about losing your job and redeployment, I also feel that you should consider putting your health first.

Have you had a diagnosis of industrial asthma ? If so, should you not bring this to the attention of your employer ? Do colleagues have similar problems ?

Why are you not keen to attend an occupational asthma centre ? Both you and your employer may need to learn lessons for your benefit and for others.

What work do you too ? Tile cutting ? Have you been provided with appropriate PPE ? Why doesn't the breathing equipment solve the problem ? Can anything be done to make the atmosphere less dusty ?

I once met a woman with industrial asthma whilst in a chest ward in hospital. She had worked in a dusty environment without adequate ventilation. She was very ill and very reliant on high doses of steroids and all avoidable.

Can you attend the occupational asthma centre on the quiet without informing your employer ? Have you thought about investigating alternative occupations where the atmosphere is less dusty ? You might find you enjoy the work just as much and it might pay better.

Good luck with it all.

yes I did go to a specialist centre.

I discovered that my specialist is one of the top specialists in Europe so I consider myself lucky to be under her care. Although the actual occupational trigger wasn't isolated as I couldn't get stable enough to be off the treatment to undergo the further investigations, but she was confident to give the diagnosis 'on the balance of probablilities'. A term used in civil law apparently which I think will be very helpful as I may be facing ill health retirement due to other complications of long steroid use.

I was gutted at first as I love my job - I'm a nurse, but am now reconciled to the priority I must give to my health and my family.

Thanks for responding :)

I was quite interested in your post because I worked in liability claims for a few years, including employers liability and industrial disease claims.

In my view the employer is not at fault until there is a diagnosis of industrial asthma so long as they cooperate fully with investigation of concerns. From that point onwards they are on notice and need to make reasonable adjustments or address redeployment if possible.

Is the redeployment contributing to the ongoing health issues or are they all consequential on the asthma experienced from prior to the diagnosis ? Have others in your workplace experienced similar issues ?

I began working in the care sector last September. On the first day in this new career I found out a dog lives in the care home and I am massively allergic to dogs. I ploughed on regardless for two weeks until I had a major asthma attack. I cut down to two days per week. After some delay I was referred to occupational health and transferred to another home. in the section of the home I work in dogs are not supposed to visit. So that it my personal as to opposed to professional experience of industrial asthma.

I had a claim from an decorator employee who couldn't cope someone with some paint. Asbestosis is not industrial asthma but it is a massive chest problem caused by exposure to a known killing agent. Millions died unnecessarily from asbestosis. I don't have similar stats for industrial asthma but they will be out there.

There is another danger too. One of the causes of copd is working in a dusty environment and whilst around 85% of copd is caused by smoking some of the others are made up by working in certain industries such as construction, the rag trade, etc.

I appreciate you love your job but is it worth destroying your lungs over? x

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