Chicago, IL, Oct. 15, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Does work irritate you? Do you feel better on the weekends? The resounding, "Yes!" you hear could have more to do with work-related allergies than job satisfaction. Workplace allergies and occupational asthma account for a growing number of under-productive and missed workdays. Almost 70 percent of Americans work indoors, which means much of our time is spent in the midst of uncontrollable allergens.
If you start sneezing the minute you sit at your desk, chances are you're more allergic to something in your workspace than the messages in your inbox. Chronic cough, allergic rhinitis, and asthma are all exacerbated by our surroundings. Brian Rotskoff, MD, of Chicago's Clarity Allergy Center helps patients overcome workplace woes with allergy testing and immunotherapy.
"Everything outside, comes inside," explains Dr. Rotskoff. "At work we have very little control over what everyone around us is unknowingly bringing with them. Pet allergies or hay fever can easily be triggered by someone else's exposure."
Is your office an allergen hangout?
We tend to assume allergies are related to nature or seasonal changes, so it's often not until we're away from the office for a period of time that we realize, "Maybe I'm allergic to work."
Once you identify the place you're most allergic it can be hard to pinpoint why. Allergies aren't the only problem; the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) estimates 15 percent of U.S. asthma cases are caused by occupational factors.
You don't have to work in a fume-filled, dust-ridden factory to suffer. Harsh cleaning products, dust-mite filled furniture, moldy carpets, and poor ventilation systems are top contributors to office space allergies. But before pointing fingers at the boss, look at the people around you. It could be Susie's six cats that filled her clothes with dander or Ben's bike ride to work that him covered in pollen.
Give yourself a break from work (allergies)
Pumping yourself full of over-the-counter allergy meds is not an effective long-term strategy. On top of feeling congested and wheezy, you're likely to drag yourself down with drowsiness and a cloudy head.
"Allergy testing is really the best place to start," encourages Dr. Rotskoff. "Once you know what you're allergic to you can experiment with ways to avoid triggers, and employers may be more likely to address workplace irritants after employees have a sought diagnosis."
In truth, it's nearly impossible to avoid environmental allergens. That's where immunotherapy comes in. Through in-office allergy testing, Dr. Rotskoff determines exactly what patients are allergic to and designs custom immunotherapy regimens.
"There are many options," explained Dr. Rotskoff. "Allergy shots work, but since working adults have little time I can create a cluster immunotherapy plan to condense the treatment cycle. Allergy drops are another great option because they're taken at home. Either way, we can likely create a permanent immunity from allergens."
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunotherapy, 85 percent of patients with allergic rhinitis successfully reduce their allergy symptoms with immunotherapy.
Learn more at www.clarityallergycenter.com. If that doesn't do the trick, maybe it's time for a career change.
CONTACT: T: 773-877-3500 North Chicago Office 4801 W. Peterson Avenue, Suite 306 Chicago, IL 60646 Chicago Office 3000 N. Halsted St, Suite 611 Chicago, IL 60657 Arlington Heights Office 125 South Wilke Road, Suite 100 Arlington Heights, IL 60005 http://www.clarityallergycenter.com/contact/
Source: Clarity Allergy Center