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Consultants' Corner
Volume 02 Issue 03

April Showers Bring May Flowers . . . and Seasonal Allergies, Too

From the desk of Tracie Saab, M.S.

Spring has sprung, the flowers are blooming, the trees and grass are green, and seasonal allergies are affecting people all over the country. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), seasonal allergic rhinitis affects 35 million people in the United States. The most common springtime allergies are triggered by allergens such as tree pollen, molds, and grass.

Allergic rhinitis develops when allergens are inhaled and then combine with an allergic antibody called immunolgolbulin E (IgE). According to AAAAI, when the allergen and the IgE combine in the lining of the nose or eyes, chemicals are released, including histamine. These chemicals cause allergic symptoms such as sneezing, itching, watery eyes, nasal congestion, or headaches. If wheezing and shortness of breath accompany allergy symptoms, it is a signal that the bronchial tubes are affected, leading to asthma.

While most people who are affected by seasonal allergies will experience mild symptoms and limitations, others may be substantially impacted. Allergy symptoms can affect sleep leading to fatigue and difficulty concentrating on the job. AAAAI indicates that missed work days because of allergies cost U.S. companies more than $250 million a year. Why not consider ways of accommodating workers with seasonal allergies to promote productivity during the allergy season?

JAN offers the following accommodation ideas:

May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. To learn more about work-site accommodation ideas, asthma, and allergies, visit the following Webpages:

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