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What is the Link between Night Shift Work and Asthma?

Night Shift Work Asthma

Some medical conditions can worsen in the evening, and asthma can be included in that category.  Although the medical community cannot be completely sure the reasoning behind why asthma may be worse at night, there are some theories that point to neurohormonal changes that occur in the evening that can trigger a person’s asthma.  Hormones such as epinephrine, cortisol, and melatonin are all related to the body’s circadian rhythm.  When there is an imbalance, inflammation of the airways can occur, which increases the risk of what is known as nocturnal asthma.

The Relationship between Lack of Sleep and Asthma

Additionally, people who get less than six hours of sleep every night have about 1.5 more asthma attacks than those people who sleep between seven and nine hours per night.   It is widely known that people who work the night shift, or what is known as the third shift, regularly sleep less than others because their schedules are likely to be out of sync with their families and the world around them.  Therefore, they may feel the need to be awake to care for children or run errands before they have obtained adequate sleep for their bodies. People with asthma may also suffer from acid reflux, and some studies have found that medications for acid reflux have helped to decrease asthma symptoms as well.

Asthma and Night Shift Work

One study has linked asthma with night shift work.  A study in England looked at 280,000 participants.  Researchers found that workers who perform night shift work on a regular basis have about a 36 percent greater chance of having asthma than their counterparts who work regular hours during the day.  Additionally, they found that workers who worked irregular shifts, for example, alternating day shifts and night shifts on a regular basis, had a 55 percent chance of developing moderate to severe asthma.   This can impact many workers, since about 20 percent of the industrialized workforce regularly works the night shift.

Night Shift Work and Other Potential Illnesses

It is widely believed that workers who permanently work night hours are at a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and other metabolic disorders.  Researchers believe that this is related to the fact that night shift work can cause dysregulation of a person’s body clock or their circadian rhythms.   Circadian rhythms are related to how the body reacts to the day and night hours and how it prepares for wakefulness and sleep.

Downingtown Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC can Help if You Suffer from Asthma that is Related to Your Work

There may be many factors that contribute to a person developing asthma.  Some research shows that working the night shift could also be a contributing factor if you suffer from asthma.  If you have suffered an asthma attack at work or if you have developed asthma as a result of a condition of your work, the Downingtown Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC can help determine if you can collect Workers’ Compensation as a result of your condition or a related injury. Contact us online or call us at 610-594-1600 for a free consultation today. We are located in Exton, Pennsylvania where we serve clients throughout Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.