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Asthma PowerPoint - University of Utah Health Care

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Asthma and Work-related Asthma
Developed by:
Dana Hughes, RN, PhD
Miners Hospital, University of Utah
Libbey M. Chuy, MPH
Asthma Program, Utah Department of Health
Overview
� Asthma – What is it?
пѓ� Symptoms of asthma
пѓ� What is work-related asthma?
пѓ� How common is work-related asthma?
пѓ� What substances trigger asthma?
пѓ� How asthma is treated?
пѓ� Clues that suggest asthma may be work-related
пѓ� What YOU can do if you have asthma
Asthma – What is It?
пѓ� Asthma is a chronic lung
disease that obstructs
airflow
пѓ� The obstruction is
reversible
пѓ� It involves difficulty in
breathing due to
– Inflammation (swelling)
– Mucus in the airways
– Tightening of muscles around
the airways
Symptoms of asthma
пѓ�Coughing
пѓ�Wheezing, a whistling sound
пѓ�Shortness of breath
пѓ�Chest tightness
пѓ�Sneezing & runny nose
пѓ�Itchy and inflamed eyes
What is work-related asthma?
пѓ� Pre-existing asthma that is triggered or made
worse by exposure to one or more substances in
the work-environment
OR
пѓ� Asthma that is caused by exposure to substances
in the work-environment
пѓ� Signs and symptoms are the same for
asthma and work-related asthma
How common is asthma?
пѓ� About 20 million Americans currently have
asthma
– About 8% of Utah adults have asthma
пѓ� Up to 20% of all adult asthma cases maybe
work-related asthma
пѓ� Of those diagnosed with work-related asthma:
– 20-27% are individuals with pre-existing asthma who react to
substances in the workplace
– Up to 80% develop asthma due to work-place exposures
What substances trigger asthma?
Type of Substance
Examples
Air pollutants, including dusts,
smoke, mists & fumes
Diesel exhaust; tobacco smoke; mineral,
rock, coal, & wood dusts; gases; fumes &
vapors from aerosol agents, chemicals,
cleaning materials, solvents, paints,
welding & from heating & cooling
metals quickly
Pollens, mites & molds
Trees, flowers, weeds, hay, plants
Animal dander
Birds, cats, dogs
Medications
Aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs
Foods
Egg, wheat, nuts
Can asthma be cured?
пѓ� Asthma can be controlled (but not cured) by:
– Avoiding triggers or reducing exposure to triggers
– Using medication to control symptoms
пѓ� Medications - generally two types are used
– Controller or long-term drugs
• Taken to prevent excess production of mucus & to reduce
the inflammation and constriction of airway muscles
– Rescue or quick-relief drugs
• Taken to relax muscles around the airways to improve
breathing
Poorly controlled asthma leads to:
пѓ�Increased visits to
– Doctor, Urgent Care
Clinic or Hospital ER
пѓ�Hospitalizations
пѓ�Limitations in daily
activities
пѓ�Lost work days
пѓ�Lower quality of life
пѓ�Death
What clues suggest that asthma is
work-related?
пѓ�Do symptoms:
– Occur only at work or
regularly after a workshift?
– Improve on weekends
or vacations?
– Increase over the
course of the work
week?
– Improve after changes in
the work environment?
Information to share with doctor
пѓ� Discuss your symptoms.
– When do they occur?
– How often do they occur?
– Time of day or week that symptoms are
worse
– Times you feel better
– Identify
• Substances in the work-place to which
you are exposed
• Current and previous jobs, hobbies,
and smoking habits that may affect
your lungs
What YOU can do if you have asthma?
пѓ�Identify and minimize contact with your
asthma trigger(s)
пѓ�Understand and take asthma medications as
prescribed
пѓ�Recognize early signs that your asthma is
getting worse
пѓ�Know what to do when your asthma is
getting worse
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