Jobs to Avoid for Allergy Sufferers

“Achoo!” “Snifffff!” Does this sound like you? You are not alone!

Allergies are among the most common chronic health conditions. They are a problem for one in five Americans. Moreover, if you have allergies, with symptoms like sneezing, headache, and congestion, it can make it miserable to go to work. Recent reports show that allergy symptoms cause about four million missed days of work every year.

What do you do if something at your job actually triggers your allergies? Most of us need to work to pay the bills, but for people with allergies, some work environments are worse than others. Because the best allergy treatment is avoiding triggers altogether, here are a few jobs you may want to turn down.

Rethink a Housekeeping Gig

Housekeeping employees have to deal with allergy triggers on a constant basis. Indoor cleaning may expose you to dust, mold, detergents, and even cockroaches. These are all common allergy triggers. Also, cleaning a home with pets can add pet dander triggers to the allergy symptom mix. Experts say housekeeping is a job people with indoor allergies should try to avoid.

Lay Off Landscaping Jobs

If you have a pollen allergy, you should avoid taking a job as a groundskeeper, landscaper, or lawn care specialist. The most common outdoor allergies are tree, grass, weed, and mold. Any of these can make working outdoors a problem. A pollen allergy can last from spring until the fall. Mold spores can be in the soil year-round in some parts of the country.

Be Cautious About Construction Work

Building and demolition create all kinds of dust and irritants. This can make construction work a health threat for allergy sufferers. Experts say remodeling is one of the worst risks for builders. It involves tearing down old structures that may fill the air with dust and mold.

Managing Symptoms

If you are always sneezing and congested, you probably won’t find an allergy-free work environment. However, some jobs may actual provoke allergy symptoms for you.

Before accepting a job, an allergy specialist can help you figure out what triggers your allergy, as well as what the best allergy treatment is for your symptoms.

Employers also need to remind outdoor workers that allergy season is coming. You may want to ask employees to talk with their doctor about seasonal allergies.  Workers who suffer from allergy symptoms often have to either take sick days or suffer from what is called, “presenteeism.” In other words, workers are so overloaded with allergy medication, and they seem sluggish and distracted. Your doctor can recommend non-drowsy drugs that do not create safety risks in the workplace.