Dealing with allergy symptoms at work has always been a challenge. In recent years, sniffling at work will raise an extra eyebrow or two. You may be surprised to know that allergies are one of the most common reasons adults miss work. This is especially true during seasons when allergens are at their peak. Here are a few ways to manage your allergies while in the workplace.
Identify Workplace Allergies
The first step to managing your allergies is to know what they are. You can identify exactly what you are allergic to by taking allergy tests from a certified specialist. Once you have an accurate assessment of your allergies, you can determine a plan for how to minimize your exposure to them.
Start to think about where you encounter your allergies most, at home or at work. Once you have accurately identified your allergies, you can make a plan for how to minimize your exposure to them in different areas, including the workplace.
Limit Your Allergen Exposure
One way to begin managing your symptoms is by avoiding exposure to your allergens as much as possible. By avoiding exposure, you avoid triggering your body’s immune response to your allergens. This means that you won’t have any allergy symptoms to manage in the first place.
However, this is easier said than done. Unlike in the home, we can’t always control our work environment. If you must have exposure to your allergies in the workplace, there are still things that you can do to try to manage your symptoms and keep your allergies under control.
Improve Your Office Environment
You may have some options for improving your office environment to make it more compatible with your allergies. For example, you might ask for the carpet or other soft furnishings and items near your office space to be removed or replaced. Soft items are known for collecting allergens like dust and pollen, and replacing them is a great place to start managing your allergy symptoms.
You could also look for places that have water damage or mold in the office and ask to have them fixed if they are triggering your symptoms. Making workplace changes like these is a great start for dealing with workplace allergies at the root of the problem.
If changes like these aren’t possible in your workplace, or if you have moderate to severe allergies and need more to keep them under control, you may look for allergy medication.
Choose the Right Medications
Medications are a great way to manage allergy symptoms like sneezing, headaches, itchy eyes, and stuffy or runny noses. However, there are so many different allergy medications out there that it can be difficult to choose the right one. Each medication brings its own unique side effects, duration, and effectiveness.
The most common side effect of allergy medications is drowsiness. However, feeling drowsy at work is not ideal for being productive. It’s important to look for allergy medications that are non-drowsy.
You could also try looking for medications to treat the individual symptoms that you are experiencing rather than using systemic allergy medications. For example, you can use eye drops to treat watery eyes or nasal sprays to treat a stuffy nose.
The key to taking allergy medications is to be proactive. Using your allergy medications regularly is the most effective way to manage your symptoms and be more effective at work, rather than only taking allergy medications when your symptoms are really bad.
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