Sneezing on the Job

One of my readers’s comments has inspired me to write tonight’s post. Sooo many topics to write about.though allergies in the workplace is definitely an important one to bring up!

Do you have to take antihistamines on a daily basis? Every morning or evening? Do you feel like it’s the only way you can make it through the work day? I will admit, I am fairly reliant on antihistamines these days. It’s always nice to know that I can come home to a safe home though. However it hasn’t been an easy road.

I was a student for years, and had some allergies in the older buildings which had dust and mold and was struggling with my allergies and asthma. At one point, I wore a mask to lectures, and wrote labs in different classrooms to avoid the smoke, perfume and pet dander on other students clothing.

When I started looking for a job, I was worried about how my allergies and asthma would “hold-up”. I always imagined I would end up with a job that I could work from home, or in an environment with other colleagues who were allergy sufferers. Well, I ended up in an office that my allergies did not agree with. There were so many triggers that my body could not tolerate it. Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what is triggering your allergies and asthma and frustrating too! Coughing and sneezing all the time started to get to me. I asked myself “what is my priority?” And the answer was; “My health”. At this point, I started considering other options and looking for another job. I had decided that I did not want to jeopardize my health for a job.

For me it came down to making a change in my life. It’s so nice to be in a work environment where all my colleagues are aware of my allergies and no one wears perfume or smokes. I have come to the conclusion that finding a good, mold and dust free building that has a job that I am looking for is going to be tricky. Where I am now, there is dust and who knows about mold. I have decided that instead f fretting over what I can’t change, I am going to work on what I CAN change and what I CAN control. That being said, I make sure I take care of my body. Lots of rest, healthy lifestyle and make sure that my home does not induce ANY allergies so I always have a safe place to come home to.

I have been taking immunotherapy shots for cats/dogs and dust mites now, and that has been helping me a significant amount too. So I am not saying that everyone has to change jobs, like I did, just that sometimes it comes down to making some decisions that might be a little tougher.

If it’s perfume that sets you off, Maybe talk to a manager at work about having a “no perfume” policy. If you think dust is the culprit, maybe you can set up a HEPA filter at work. I did and it REALLY helped! It’s always best to talk to others and share ideas. maybe someone has found a way to tackle the challenges you are currently facing.


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