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Why Do Allergy Sufferers Suffer In Silence?

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Winter is thawing for most of us which means that Spring is springing. For many of us, it’s absolutely the worst time of the year.

I’m pretty sure I came out of the womb, rubbing my itchy eyes, sneezing, and gagging on post nasal drip. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have allergies. I’m lucky enough to have year-round allergies, but Spring is easily the absolute pits for me and many other allergy sufferers. Not only is pollen just hanging out in the air, many companies are also planting flowers or bringing in some new plants to spruce in the office. Most workers can go about their day as usual, but some will end up suffering. It’s pretty hard to be good at your job when you’re absolutely miserable at work. You’re not alone either as a recent survey showed that 50 million Americans suffer from allergies. It’s so common that it’s sitting pretty at number six on the chronic illness list. But how many of us actually take off of work when we’re at our worst when it comes to our allergies?


© Flickr user William Brawley.

Ladders looked into this common issue and found some surprising information. A survey by Trane showed that 47% of people would feel too guilty calling into work for allergy symptoms. In fact, 1 in 5 of those surveyed admitted that they would rather lie to their boss about why they’re calling in sick. The majority of people feel as though their symptoms wouldn’t be taken as seriously as some other common illnesses so they don’t feel comfortable admitting the real reason for their illness. Ladders also noted a surprising tidbit of information:

Moreover, a Taiwan research study conducted last year found an increased risk to psychiatric disorders in individuals with allergic diseases. The researchers examined individuals with asthma, seasonal allergies and eczema alongside a constant group that had no allergies whatsoever. In conclusion: “Allergic diseases are therefore associated with a 1.66-fold increased hazard of psychiatric disorders in Taiwan.”

It’s not like allergies are so rare. I’m sure many of us could raise our hands if we were asked about allergy sufferers in our lives, whether we are one of them or know one. Why do we look down our noses at this illness, then? Even with medicine, you’ll find people find little to no relief regardless of how many pills, nasal sprays, or air purifiers that they invest in. You basically have to suck it up and just deal with it. There are a lot of workers out there that already hate their jobs or end up job bouncing from employer to employer.

Your allergies can not only affect your work productivity but also your sleep, too. Research from the Journal of Allergy and Immunology shows there are strong links between sleep issues and allergies. Health24 took a look at this issue and offered up some tips on how you can try to avoid some symptoms of allergies. Two of their suggestions caught my eye as I don’t think many people have heard of these tips. This first one is an absolute must:

  • Take off your daytime clothes and shoes before bedtime. Don’t take your coat and shoes into your bedroom, and don’t place any outer garments on the bedspread.

That makes a lot of sense. Don’t bring the outside into your bed! This other tip is extremely important, too:

  • Make sure that medication taken at night won’t interrupt your sleep. The ingredient pseudoephedrine is common in decongestants, but it can make your heart race, cause anxiety and interfere with sleep. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor about the side-effects of the medicines you take at night.

I can’t stress how important this is. Taking medication for your allergies is one of the only ways you can find relief but you have to make sure you’re taking the right ones. Talk to your doctor and see what other ways you can improve your quality of life both at work and at home.

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Alyssa Shea

Alyssa Shea

Alyssa Shea transplanted from Illinois to South Carolina. She loves to write, read, and spend time with her dog and her family. Alyssa is very active on social media. She has been part of the AccelaWork team since 2013.
Alyssa Shea

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