10 Jobs Asthma Won't Let Me Do

Asthma has led my life in a unique direction. It is what led me to my profession as a respiratory therapist. It also led me to the job of writing posts, like this one, about my asthma.

So, obviously, these are jobs an asthmatic CAN do. Today I would like to discuss jobs my asthma would not allow me to do.

10 jobs asthma prevents me from doing


I have almost a chronic tremor due to a side effect of taking Symbicort daily. When I am having a flare-up I often take steroids to get better. This treatment makes my tremors worse. So, imagine if I were the person wielding the knife meant to cut into you to fix you. Ummm, "Oops, sorry, I didn’t mean to nick your colon!" Nope! Not a job for me.

Dentist/dental hygienist

This is what inspired this post. I took my son to the orthodontist this afternoon. I watched as the dental hygienist picked up tiny objects with forceps and used those forceps to attach the objects to my son’s teeth. And I had a vision if I had that job with my trembling hands. I don’t think it would be pretty. I envisioned myself dropping an object down a gullet."Oops, I didn't mean to drop that down your gullet!"  Nope! I do not think that would be a job for this asthmatic.

Factory worker

If someone does not go to college, getting a job in a factory can be a good option. I have 2 brothers who did not go to college, and they both took this path to begin their careers. They both have good-paying factory jobs to this day.

When I was 18, my dad told me this was not an option for me. He said factories will expose me to dusts and fumes. And this would not bode well for my asthma. Instead, my dad encouraged me to go to college and get a job in a clean, air-conditioned environment. And that's what I did.


I actually think it would be fun to be a contractor. If I did not have asthma, this type of work would be high on my list. Or, perhaps doing this kind of thing on the side would be fun. I think it would be fun to build things and make things. But, given that this type of job would expose me to all sorts of dust, this was never much of an option for me.


Similarly, electricians poke their heads in dusty walls and ceilings. So, that would not bode well for my asthmatic lungs either.


Hay, mold, and animals are on top of my allergy/asthma trigger list.


Being around smoke is not a good idea for any person with asthma.

Door-to-door salesperson/home healthcare aide

On the surface, both of these look like good jobs for people with asthma. But, I was a home healthcare respiratory therapist (RT) for about 3 months. I ended up in the hospital for 10 days. This was in February of 1998, or early on in my career as an RT. My doctor and I figured my attack was triggered by all the allergens in the households I entered.


Thankfully, my latest allergy test showed that I am no longer allergic to cats and dogs. But I was not tested for all the other animals you may be exposed to as a veterinarian.

Road construction

The fumes from the freshly planted blacktop would be horrible for your lungs, especially if you had bad lungs to begin with. Add to this the dust from the gravel and dirt that you would be working around, and I do not think this would be good for any person with asthma, let alone myself.

What about you?

Are there some jobs that you cannot do due to your asthma? Please let us know in the comments below.

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