Allergies can happen year-round, while you’re indoors or outdoors – causing a storm of sneezing and coughing in the workplace. Many may think it’s just a matter of what’s going on outside that’s causing such a miserable time at work, but the cause may also be due to what’s inside the office.
It may seem like a handy excuse for avoiding the office, but workplace allergies – specifically occupational asthma – account for many cases of allergies and asthma across the U.S.
It’s fairly simple to determine whether you have occupational allergies. You likely have them if the symptoms worsen each day as the workday progresses, and they lessen or go away after you leave work. And you feel fine on weekends and vacations.
What Causes Workplace Allergies?
Allergic reactions are overreactions of the immune system. They commonly develop after repeated exposure to an allergen, such as dust or mold, and they tend to worsen over time.
Occupational asthma alone is estimated to be responsible for 10 percent of asthma cases. Many business owners don’t realize that workers suffering building-related illnesses cost businesses billions of dollars each year in lost productivity. Employers often don’t realize their building is host to an inordinate amount of dust or hidden mold inside the walls.
What Can I Do About Office Allergies?
While you may know the cause, it can be quite difficult to remedy the situation. Generally, to avoid allergies, you avoid the allergy trigger.
It will be difficult to hold a job or earn a living if you have to avoid your workplace. Not to mention the ability to be productive while you’re in the workplace.
The most obvious thing you can try to do is to work from home some or all of the time. With virtually all businesses being connected to the internet, you can ask your supervisor whether it may be a viable option.
If you or someone you work with is experiencing occupational allergies, there are some measures you can take to make the workplace a space that’s easier to breathe in:
- Keep the air vents and/or grilles clear and clean.
- Keep smoking areas outside and far away from intake ducts.
- Tend to any office plants: dust them, water them, clean them, and remove anything that causes mold.
- Throw out garbage promptly. Don’t keep smelly garbage in your desk bin.
- Clean out your office refrigerator frequently to prevent odors and mold.
- Keep your desk and eating areas clean to avoid attracting pests, such as cockroaches, which have been linked to respiratory issues.
Keep yourself and your office running like a well-oiled machine. If you or other employees are experiencing office-related health issues, work with your human resources representative and building personnel to find the cause of the problem – and implement a solution that works for everyone.
Allergy Physician in Austin
If you are having problems with allergies or asthma, contact the skilled team at the Nasal & Sinus Center of Austin. We will conduct a thorough exam, perform any necessary tests to diagnose your condition, and offer the best treatment option available.
Call our Austin office at (512) 394-4858 or our Lakeway office at (512) 982-9423 to schedule an appointment, or fill out our easy-to-use form to request an appointment online. We look forward to helping you breathe deeply and enjoy everything life has to offer.