Asthma and Occupational Health
· Are you working in a manufacturing Factory that produces smoke, fumes etc?
· Do you work as a chef or in a commercial restaurant’s Kitchen?
· Are you are Farmer using pesticide spray?
· Are you a beautician using various sprays?
· Do you smoke cigarettes?
· Whatsoever your occupation, you need to understand that your occupation may present risks for Asthmatic attacks or your behavior may cause you an Asthma.
· You may be affected by absenteeism from work due to an Asthmatic Attack.
Always inform your Employer about your Asthmatic conditions and the Medications you are using in case of an Emergency
Flu and People with Asthma
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a lung disease that is caused by chronic inflammation of the airways. It is one of the most common long-term diseases of children, but adults can have asthma, too.
Asthma attacks occur when the lung airways become swollen and tighten due to airway inflammation. Asthma attacks can be caused by “triggers” such as airway infections, allergy particles, chemical irritants, and air pollution (perfumes, dust, vehicle exhaust emissions, smoke, drugs, etc)
During an attack, people with asthma experience symptoms such as wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and night time or early morning coughing.
Often, asthma attacks can be prevented by limiting one’s exposure to triggers and by properly using asthma medications.
Some people suffer from Asthma from childhood (Genetic) or may acquire it at an old age (Late-onset Asthma). Asthma may be Mild, Moderate or Severe.
People with Moderate to Sever are on Asthmatic medications prescribed by their health care provider and therefore they usually carry their medications with them.
Some people out-grow the Asthma while others don’t.
: Not all persons who are wheezing, breathless and coughing are Asthmatic. It may be other Lung conditions that require medical attention. Its ONLY your health care provider who can diagnose Asthma after a complete check-up and follow-up.
People with Asthma Are at Increased Risk of Severe Disease and Complications from Flu
Though people with asthma are not more likely to get the flu, influenza (flu) can be more serious for people with asthma, even if their asthma is mild or their symptoms are well-controlled by medication.
This is because people with asthma have swollen and sensitive airways, and influenza can cause further inflammation of the airways and lungs. Influenza infection in the lungs can trigger asthma attacks and a worsening of asthma symptoms.
It can also lead to pneumonia and other acute respiratory diseases. In fact, adults and children with asthma are more likely to develop pneumonia after getting sick with the flu than people who do not have asthma.
Asthma is the most common medical condition among adults and kids hospitalized with the flu.
If you have asthma, you need to take steps to fight the flu
- Everyone with asthma who is six months and older should protect themselves against getting the flu.
- Once Flu sets in, Asthma is usually unavoidable. Seek Medical attention as soon as possible.
- If you don’t have a regular doctor or nurse, you can get Assistance from a pharmacist near you.
- Start you anti-Asthmatic medications if you had stopped. Don’t over dose yourself. Seek pharmacist assistance near you.
- Drink fluids, rehydrate, and eat/drink organic fruits/juices
- Children, adults over 65 years of age, and people who have asthma should also get the pneumococcal vaccine to protect against pneumonia.
- Pneumococcal infections are a serious complication of influenza infections and can cause death. Pneumococcal Vaccine is readily available in specific clinics and at Kalson Medical Services.
- Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of flu:
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care. Stay away from other people who are sick. Get Sick-leave off work.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a clean tissue (non-dusty) when coughing or sneezing and throw the tissue away. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder not your bare hands;
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth (germs are spread that way); and
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.
- Follow an updated, written Asthma Action Plan developed with your doctor.
- Follow this plan for daily treatment to control asthma long-term and to handle worsening asthma, or attacks.
- If your child has asthma, make sure that his or her updated, written Asthma Action Plan is on file at school or at the daycare center. Be sure that the plan and medication(s) are easy to get to when needed.
- If you do get sick with flu symptoms, call your doctor and take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor recommends them.
- Treatment should begin as soon as possible because antiviral drug treatment works best when started early (within 48 hours after symptoms start).
- Antiviral drugs can make your flu illness milder and make you feel better faster. They may also prevent serious health problems that can result from flu illness.
- Oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) is an antiviral drug that can be used to treat flu.
- To get oseltamivir (Tamiflu®), a doctor needs to write a prescription. This medicine fights against the flu by keeping flu viruses from making more viruses in your body.
- People with asthma should not use zanamivir (Relenza®), a different antiviral drug; because there is a risk it may cause wheezing in people that already have asthma or other lung problems.
Chronic Moderate/Sever Asthma is a risk for TB Infection because of weakened Lungs and may lead to other Sever Lung complications called COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)