Ever walked into work only to be greeted with “uh-oh, sounds like somebody has a case of the Mondays?” If so, you are not alone. If you look tired, have a headache, runny nose and are sneezing it may be something more. You may actually be allergic to work.

While this sounds like the plot of a low-budget sitcom it is actually much more common than you may think. To be clear, it is the not the actual work you are allergic to, but the irritants in the workplace.

There are a few jobs in the Murrieta area that seem to go hand in hand with allergy symptoms:

  • Outdoor allergies to tree, grass and weed pollens, as well as mold, are very common.
  • Spa worker. Fumes and sprays can often trigger an allergy attack. Those who are sensitive to smells can have a reaction to perfumes, hairsprays, soaps and chemicals used in this environment.
  • Restaurant worker. While many states, including California, prohibit smoking in most indoor places, secondhand smoke is still an issue. An allergy to latex can also be complicated when working in this type of environment. Even if you are not required to wear latex gloves, a lot of the food is plated by someone wearing them.
  • Indoor allergens such as dust, mold and even cockroaches are often present when cleaning. Working in a home or hotel room where a pet has been can cause allergy symptoms.
  • Plant pollens, mold in the plant soil and fertilizers are all allergy hazards when working with flowers.
  • Construction work. Building and demolition are hotbeds for all types of dust and irritants.

Now, many of those with allergies know their limits and would not take one of the above-mentioned jobs. But working in an office building may not be as safe as you would think.

Mold, dust and irritants are the most common causes of workplace allergy symptoms. Mold and the toxins it secretes are what cause allergic reactions. Common symptoms are headaches, feelings of nausea and asthma complications. Stachybotrys is a black, sticky, slimy fungus that is often found in homes and older office buildings. Since it needs water to grow it is found around water pipes, in the walls around plumbing or near areas moistened by a leaky roof.

While dust mite allergens can be found anywhere they are usually confined to warm, humid environments such as upholstered furniture or carpeting. Sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, red, itchy or watery eyes and wheezing are all common symptoms. Most offices in the Murrieta, California area have central air conditioning. Dust can build up in the filters and if left unchanged can be recirculated back into the air.

Irritants such as fragrance use, strong cleaning supplies and even strongly scented beauty products can cause headaches, irritated eyes and breathing problems. Controlling these irritants is often tricky, as they typically come from other coworkers or the maintenance staff in the building. To combat this many offices are becoming “fragrance free” by using unscented cleaning products and asking employees to refrain from using perfumes or colognes.

In order to combat these workplace issues, you should see your Murrieta ear, nose and throat doctor. They will be able to work with you to figure out what is causing your symptoms and once that is determined, they can help you come up with a plan to eliminate the cause.