Table of Contents
The Causes of Occupational Asthma
It is not clear why some people in their workplace are affected by the stimuli of the occupational asthma attack, while others are not affected by these stimuli. This may be due to genetic factors or exposure to environmental stimuli for a long period of time.
Asthma symptoms start if the lung exposed to a stimulation ( an inflammation occurs in lung tissues ). The inflammation causes many responses that block the airways and make the breathing difficult. After exposure to something that stimulates the attack, so the airways:
- Muscle contraction around the airway.
- Inflammation of the airways themselves.
- Excess of mucus that blocks the airways.
With occupational asthma, the one that stimulates lung inflammation is one of two processes:
A reaction of allergy:
The asthma attack occurs when the body releases an allergic response when constantly expose to a substance. The body begins to identify that substance as a threat factor which activates the immune system in order to issue a response and that what is called sensitivity or allergy. Symptoms do not appear at first, because allergies take months, even years, to appear.
Symptoms begin to appear when the human body’s immune system excretes antibodies against stimulants, thereby stimulating the secretion of certain chemicals such as histamine that causes lung inflammation that appears as symptoms of the attack.
The allergen that stimulates for the attack:
When the stimulus is breathed in the workplace one or more times, the symptoms of the attack appear through direct stimulation of the lung and not because of the allergic reaction. When you inhale some of the chemicals, the bronchial tubes become sensitive to the stimuli, among these substances that cause this type of response are Sulfur Oxide, Chlorine, and environmental smokes.
There is more than 300 substance in the workplaces that have been classified in the list of substances that increase the possibility of occupational asthma, including:
- Animal materials: such as proteins found in their skin, hair, fur, saliva and body waste.
- Chemicals: Such as acids used in paints, varnishes, in packing and upholstery materials, enzymes and detergents.
- Metals: Especially platinum, chromium, and nickel sulphate.
- Plant materials: The proteins found in natural rubber ( Latex ), grain flour, cotton, linen, wheat and digestive enzyme derived from papaya fruit.
- Respiratory system stimulants: such as chlorine gas, sulfur dioxide, and smoke.
A person is more likely to have occupational asthma if:
- He was suffering from asthma or any other type of allergies, despite the increasing of the susceptibility to occupational asthma, however, some of this category of people are exposed and their lungs exposed to the stimulants or allergens, but it does not appear on them any symptoms of occupational asthma.
- The occupational asthma attack was inherited among members of the same family, the risks of the attack or any other types of allergies increase.
- Working in an environment where asthma allergens are increasing. Many substances present in the workplace increase the risk of occupational asthma. These substances are known as lung triggers and the triggers of the attack.
It is possible that anyone in any workplace to be exposed to get occupational asthma, but there are some occupations that have more risk in.
Among these professions and substances that stimulate the emergence of symptoms that associated with the sensitivity. Next:
The longer that the duration of exposure to the substance that causes occupational asthma, the worse the symptoms became and the recovery period get longer also after stopping of exposure to the allergen.
In some cases, exposure to airborne triggers causes permanent changes in the lung and causes permanent symptoms to the patient.