My life with Asthma: understanding my world at work


I wanted to share a bit of my personal journey with asthma while navigating the workplace, hoping to shed some light on what it’s like and how seemingly small actions can make a big difference to someone living with this condition.

Asthma: My Constant Companion

Living with asthma is like having an unpredictable companion that can react at the slightest provocation. My days are filled with a heightened awareness of my surroundings, always on the lookout for those invisible triggers that could turn an ordinary day into a struggle for breath. Workplaces are vibrant and bustling, however, it’s also a space where I must constantly navigate potential asthma triggers. Let me walk you through what that looks like for me.

Team-building events often involve physical activities, which is fantastic for fostering camaraderie. However, for someone with asthma, this aspect can be challenging. Strenuous exercises can provoke asthma symptoms, turning a fun event into a health concern.

I love the smell of fresh coffee as much as anyone, but strong perfumes or certain cleaning products can be a different story. They’re not just unpleasant; they can constrict my airways, turning a routine day into a battle for breath. It’s like walking through a minefield, where a lovely scent for one can be a trigger for an asthma attack for me.

While invisible to most, dust and pollen can be ever-present adversaries in office life. A dusty bookshelf or windows open during high pollen season might not catch your eye, but my lungs notice them immediately, sometimes leading to a coughing fit or the need for my inhaler.

Whether it’s a change in the weather or office renovations, shifts in air quality are something I’m acutely sensitive to. It’s a bit like being a human barometer, where a change in the environment can signal a need to brace for a potential asthma flare-up.

When flu season hits, it’s more than just a concern about a runny nose or a fever for me. A simple cold can escalate quickly into a severe chest infection, making it crucial to maintain good hygiene practices and be mindful of health in our shared spaces.

Imagine starting your day knowing that various invisible triggers could turn your routine upside down. It’s a bit like playing a game where the rules constantly change. This is my reality, and while I’ve learned to adapt and prepare, understanding and support from those around me can make a tremendous difference.

Small Changes, Big Impact

So, what can we do? Simple things, really, but they mean the world to someone with asthma:

  • Being mindful of our own health, staying home when we’re under the weather.
  • Opting for milder, less invasive scents or going fragrance-free.
  • Keeping our personal and shared spaces clean and dust-free.
  • These actions might seem small, but they contribute to a work environment where everyone can breathe a little easier, literally and figuratively.

Sharing this isn’t about seeking special treatment, but about fostering understanding and empathy in our vibrant workplace. It’s about making small adjustments that can have a significant impact on someone’s health and well-being. Together, we can create a space that isn’t just productive but is also nurturing and inclusive.

Thank you for taking the time to understand a bit more about life with asthma. Your awareness and consideration create a ripple effect of positivity, making our workplace not just a place to work, but a community where we look out for each other.

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