Allergies and Work Performance

Part 1 in a Quality of Life Series by Chicago allergist, Brian Rotskoff, MD

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| Source: Clarity Allergy Center

Chicago, IL, Sept. 23, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For millions of Americans, sick days are nothing to sneeze at. Those who suffer from chronic nasal allergies, allergic rhinitis, and asthma know all too well that allergy season can be worse than flu season. Allergies affect work attendance, work performance, and overall wellbeing in significant ways. Often, the nasal congestion, chronic cough, and sinus headaches caused by allergies are too severe for over-the-counter allergy medicine to resolve, resulting in a fourth productivity drain:  grogginess.

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Brian Rotskoff, MD of Chicago's Clarity Allergy Center treats adults with severe allergy symptoms, many of whom are exhausted and frustrated by the impact of allergies on their professional lives. He starts with in-office allergy testing to help patients get a handle on what's causing their symptoms in the first place. That information helps him design a customized immunotherapy regimen of allergy shots or allergy drops for proactive treatment.

"For many of my patients, missing work isn't about whether you're contagious or not. It's about allergy symptoms that are severe enough to inhibit productive functioning," stressed Dr. Rotskoff. "Chronic allergy sufferers struggle with suppressing symptoms, while still showing up for work with a clear head."

Allergy burden on U.S. business

According to a National Health Interview Study (NHIS), allergic rhinitis and the use of over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medications are reported to cost $2.4 billion to $4.6 billion in at-work productivity and absenteeism, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10977437.

A separate work productivity study found allergic rhinitis to be the most commonly reported medical condition to U.S. employers, resulting in an average of 3.6 missed days per employee and 2.3 unproductive hours each day per employee, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16846553.

So what's a sufferer to do? "The shortcomings of over-the-counter allergy remedies are a common thread in allergy research," said Dr. Rotskoff, "Significant allergy relief and quality of life improvements are realized when patients treat the allergy, not the symptom."

Allergy shots reduce missed workdays by more than half

A newly published European study found that subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT), or allergy shots, improved quality of life for adults with rhino-conjunctivitis and asthma. Participants on an allergy shot regimen experienced an average of forty fewer allergy-burdened days. Days absent from work due to allergies dropped from 3.7 to 1.2. The findings were published this month in the World Allergy Organization Journal, http://www.waojournal.org/content/6/1/15.

As an immunotherapy expert, Dr. Rotskoff is adept at helping patients design a treatment plan that best fits their needs and lifestyle. He offers traditional allergy shots, cluster immunotherapy, and innovative allergy drops - all proven therapies for altering the body's response to allergen triggers.

"Allergy immunotherapy is proven to reduce the need for over-the-counter allergy drugs," Dr. Rotskoff stressed. "Patients experience noticeable improvements in the short term and, after scheduled treatment, can achieve permanent allergy relief."

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