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Dealing With Office Allergies at Work

Allergies are the fifth leading chronic disease in the United States, with an estimated 50 million Americans suffering daily. Dealing with allergies at work often can be difficult. It's hard to focus on business when your eyes are itchy, your nose is running (or stuffed) and you can't catch your breath because of repetitive sneezing. It's miserable and our ServiceMaster Clean team wants you to be able to feel better. Check out a few of our tips for dealing with office allergies.

##Common Workplace Allergies

Indoor/outdoor allergies also known as seasonal allergies are one of the most common types of allergies suffered by people, whether working in an office, warehouse, retail establishment, factory or other work space. Other common workplace allergies include contact allergies such as an allergy to latex and eye allergies. Occupational asthma is another common workplace issue and usually develops when a worker has a sensitivity to something regularly inhaled in the work space (fumes, chemicals.)

Office Allergy Triggers

Many office allergy triggers are the same ones that affect you at home. These include but are not limited to:

  • Dust mites

  • Pollen

  • Mold spores

  • Cigarette smoke

  • Cockroaches

  • Fumes (from aerosols, chemicals, cleaning agents)

  • Perfume and other scented products

  • Animal dander

Even if your office is smoke-free, residual smoke that lingers on a co-worker who has smoked a cigarette during a break can trigger a reaction if you're sensitive to this allergen. The same can happen to people who suffer allergies from exposure to perfumes and animal dander, especially cat dander. If a particular co-worker wears a perfume or scent that aggravates your allergies, avoid that person's cubicle. If you have to work closely together on a project, you may opt to politely mention your allergy.

Reducing Office Allergies

There are easy ways to reduce your office allergy triggers. The first step is to identify the allergens that affect you most significantly. Once you know what triggers your allergies, you can take steps to reduce your exposure. Try these tips for reducing your office allergies:

  • Wipe your work area (all hard surfaces) daily with a disinfectant wipe

  • If you vacuum your work space, wear a mask

  • Run a dehumidifier if your office has high humidity to reduce risk of mold growth

  • Make sure your work space is well ventilated

Wash your hands after working with co-workers who have pets to avoid transferring any pet dander to your clothes, skin or faceThe best way to deal with allergies in the office or any other work environment is to eliminate as many allergens as possible. A regular commercial cleaning service like the janitorial professionals from ServiceMaster Clean can get that job done. Daily dusting, mopping and vacuuming can remove many of the allergens that affect workers helping to improve the condition and health of your work environment.

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