If you have an itchy throat or sneezing spells in your office or cubicle, research suggests that your discomfort may result from workplace allergies. Many people think that allergies are only a problem for the outdoors, but it appears that they have taken hold in the workplace as well.
Workplace allergies are real and can be highly disruptive to an individual’s day-to-day job routine. For some, their allergy symptoms are so severe that they need to leave their workplaces immediately.
Employees need to educate themselves about their allergies and any situations that may cause them to feel uncomfortable. By taking a proactive approach and educating the workforce, companies can help reduce their allergic reactions at work.
What Are Workplace Allergies?
Workplace allergies are caused by an immune system reaction to certain airborne particles. When these airborne particles contact the human respiratory system, they start an inflammatory response. The body then releases chemicals that trigger it to produce antibodies to combat the foreign object. This is what causes the symptoms of an allergic reaction. It is the immune system’s way of attacking a foreign object and removing it from the body.
The problem is that these foreign objects are not necessarily foreign to the body. They could be made in a factory right down the street. It means that you may have a condition causing you to feel so uncomfortable at work, but it is not necessarily a physical reaction to the presence of an allergen. The point is that an allergic reaction occurs because they are a foreign particle to the immune system, not because they’ve “changed” manufacturers.
Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction
There are several symptoms of an allergic reaction:
This is when you have small, raised bumps that form on your skin. They are usually red and feel burning or itchy. Many people use this word to describe hot spots on their legs, arms, or even faces. Hives may leave a raised rash or a mottled rash. The rash goes away when you rest or sleep. If you have hives, consult your doctor and get some Benadryl.
Bronchial Congestion or Asthma
You feel tightness in your chest, shortness of breath, and coughing. It is often accompanied by wheezing and coughing noises when you breathe out. This is a common side effect of an allergic response, so regularly monitoring your work environment for allergens is essential.
Hay Fever-Type Symptoms
This is when symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, and nose start three months before spring rains. The early symptoms are not very severe and go away quickly on their own. Later symptoms include a runny nose, itchy eyes, and watery eyes. These signs indicate that you have an allergic reaction.
It is when you have an overproduction of mucus. The body produces a lot of mucus to help clear the eyes of foreign objects so that it may look like your eyes are going to overflow with mucus. Congestion can also be the result of an allergic reaction.
It is when you have a sore throat and are experiencing a cough, congestion, or post-nasal drip. The cause can vary from pollen, chemicals, or dust to the cold viruses out there this time of year. Another common source of sore throats is the terrible air quality in the workplace.
What Causes Workplace Allergies?
Several things can cause workplace allergies. The most common workplace allergen is animal dander. People who work with many animals are at risk of developing workplace allergies. Pets, such as dogs and cats, also often transmit airborne particles during their grooming process. These contaminants can affect the respiratory system and trigger an allergic response in those who are allergic.
Second, some types of allergies are caused by airborne particles in your work environment. There are different types of chemicals and pollen that are common offenders. Pollen is a major cause of allergies because it causes a reaction in the nose, eyes, and skin. The following most common offenders are cleaning chemicals such as bleach and ammonia. These are usually found in kitchens. Dust is also a common offender due to its ability to be easily carried from place to place.
What Should You Do if You Have a Workplace Allergy?
If you have a workplace allergy, it is a good idea to make sure that you know what the allergies are and how they impact your work day. The first thing you should do is find out the exact cause of your allergy symptoms. You might find out that you are allergic to some cleaner or cleaning chemicals. It would help if you then talked to your employer about your requirements. If the office is a mixed chemical environment, you will have to explain how your allergy affects them and how they can change work practices. The company may be able to provide masks for those who are allergic.
The easiest solution to an allergy problem is to avoid the allergen that is causing you trouble. If you know what you are allergic to, then staying away from it will take care of your problems.
There are allergy drops that you can use if you are allergic to something at work. Allergies can be hard to control, primarily if caused by a toxin or chemical in your work environment. You will have to get an allergy test and then consult your doctor about which drops you should use. Allergy drops are put under your tongue, allowing the medicine to be absorbed through your bloodstream.
Allergy Shots or Immunotherapy
Allergy shots or immunotherapy is a form of treatment that you can try. However, you need to have a doctor’s prescription for this; it can take time, but it is worth it if all other treatments have failed. It would help if you built up tolerance by taking small doses gradually. Then, the frequency is increased, and you continue to take medicine.
If you go through this program, you must keep taking medicine. It would be best if you discussed this with your doctor so they know how it works out for you at work and in your life. It is essential to seek the advice of your Philadelphia ENT specialist, who can help you determine what you are allergic to and how to fix the problem.