Merck Manual

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Disorders Similar to Work-Related Asthma

Disorders Similar to Work-Related Asthma

Disorder

Features

Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome

New-onset asthma symptoms occur after an acute high level irritant exposure.

Airway inflammation occurs after overexposure to irritating substances such as chlorine, ammonia, cleaning products, and combustion products.

Reactive upper airways syndrome

Irritation of the lining of the nose and the throat occurs after either sudden or long-term exposure to irritants.

People develop symptoms such as a runny nose, burning of the nose and throat, and hoarseness.

Irritant-associated vocal cord dysfunction

Abnormal closure of the vocal cords occurs.

People may gasp or make whistling sounds and have hoarseness or trouble speaking.

Industrial bronchitis (irritant-induced chronic bronchitis)

Cough and phlegm occur after chronic exposure to dusts and fumes.