Are You Allergic to Your Job? Workplace Air Quality and Health Hazards
It might sound funny, but for many allergy sufferers it could be true; your job might be making your allergies worse. Anyone who has seasonal allergies knows about keeping the windows closed and the air conditioner on during high pollen count days, but sometimes you follow all the “rules” for minimizing your contact with allergens and still feel congested and awful. Take a look at your surroundings at the workplace (where you spend the majority of your day anyway), and think about what allergens exist there and how you can avoid them or help ease the trigger.
Of course, if you work outside, you’ll be exposed to pollen. But there are ways to lessen your exposure and help you get through the day. Wear gloves, a mask, a hat, and long sleeves when working outside, and if possible (for example, if you’re a landscaper), try working in the late afternoon, since pollen counts tend to be highest in the mornings. Cloudy days also tend to have lower pollen counts. Shower and change clothes as soon as you can (ideally, at work) after your day is over to get any allergens off your work clothes, and wash your work clothes separately from your other clothes. If your washer has a “sanitize” setting with an extra hot water temperature, that’s the best choice for washing any allergen filled clothes.
If you work in a spa or salon, you might find that your allergies are made worse by fumes from various beauty products and nail polishes. Even though these items may not be allergens, they can cause irritation to the sensitive membranes of your nose. Although you may not be able to do much to change the work environment in the spa or salon, you can limit your exposure to these chemicals by keeping your work station ventilated and using pump sprays rather than aerosols. Use hair dyes that come already mixed so you don’t have to risk breathing in powder coloring agents.
Although they’re less likely to be exposed to pollen on the job, office workers face their own allergy troubles. Electronic equipment attracts dust, which can trigger allergic reactions. Be sure to clean your computer’s vents, keyboard, and mouse regularly with a can of compressed air, and use cleaning wipes to keep your desk and telephone dust-free. Your carpets should be vacuumed regularly with a high quality vacuum cleaner, preferably one with a HEPA filter, to keep any dust and pollen out of the air in your workplace.
Studies have shown that job related stress can make allergies flare up. This may be due to stress hormones stimulating the production of blood proteins that trigger allergy reactions. Stress stemming from conflict with co-workers, looming job deadlines, and fatigue from long hours can take their toll on those with allergies. Fatigue is a good indicator of allergy flare-ups, since it is often caused either by allergy symptoms (such as congestion or coughing) interfering with sleep or by the antihistamines taken to combat those symptoms. Some antihistamine medications make people drowsy and some contain stimulants, but many of them have the potential to disrupt your body’s normal sleep cycle.
If summer allergies are making your life difficult at home, at work, or both, we can help. Our Natural Allergy Relief™ (NAR) is made with organically grown herbs that have helped ease the suffering of many sufferers as part of traditional Chinese medicine. Unlike antihistamine medications, NAR doesn’t just treat the symptoms of allergies like runny noses or coughs; instead, the herbs in NAR work to regulate your body’s response to allergy triggers. By suppressing your body‘s overly sensitive response to allergens, NAR can bring real relief without the antihistamine hangover so many over the counter and prescription medicines provide. With NAR, you can strike back against the cause of your allergies, not just the symptoms.