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Obvious preconditions for considering a diagnosis of WRA are typical diagnostic findings of asthma (see below) and an association of asthma symptoms with exposure at work.Asthma present before occupational exposure but associated with worsening at the start of a new occupational exposure indicates a diagnosis of work-aggravated asthma (WAA).
Spirometry and non-specific bronchial responsiveness should be measured, but carefully performed and validly analysed serial peak expiratory flow or forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV) measurements are more specific and confirm occupational asthma in about 82% of those still exposed to the causative agent.
Skin prick testing or specific immunoglobulin E assays are useful to document allergy to high molecular weight allergens.
Finally, if the diagnosis remains unclear a follow-up with serial measurements of FEVAt least 15% of adult asthma is induced or triggered by factors in the workplace .
Early diagnosis can improve the prognosis of work-related asthma since cessation of exposure after appearance of asthmatic symptoms and identification of specific sensitization within the first months after onset of symptoms, may permit a full recovery.
Diagnosis of work-related asthma is in many cases a complex undertaking consisting of various diagnostic tests and procedures.