Working as a Nanny with severe dust allergy and asthma. Should I change career??

Hi everyone,

I have a question: I recently got diagnosed with a severe dust allergy to both types of dust mites. I have had asthma for years but it has gotten a lot worse over the last 6 months and we finally know why.

The Drs put me on strong antihistamines to help with my allergic rhinitis and also put me on a steroid nasal spray (this gives me a lot of heavy nose bleeds and headaches, so had to stop it).

I am also on an asthma preventer.

Now in my last job I didn't need to drive the kids anywhere but in my new job which I am supposed to start on 8.4. I will need to drive the little ones everywhere! They live in the middle of nowhere out of Glasgow. The antihistamines leave me very drowsy, confused and sleepy and I get dizzy spells. I asked the Dr for different ones but all of them have the same ingredients leaving me unable to drive safely!

Also the families house is very dusty, it has lots of big carpets and soft furnishings and the cleaner only comes in once every two weeks.

So in order for me to work there I would need to dust and hoover twice per week and even then I am not sure if I can leave the antihistamines away. My asthma gets bad in dusty old houses. Our house has lots of carpets too and in order for me to sleep well I need antihistamines.

What am I to do? I am wondering if I should take on the job as the kids are also always ill with bronchitis etc :-(

Has anyone any advice on this? Should I change my career?

Thanks x

10 Replies

  • Hi maybe you could change your job to a house that's cleaner and not so dusty! The best way to cope with it in your own home is, if you can, replace the carpets with wooden floors and the curtains with blinds. Also a leather or pseudo leather sofa is probably better than a fabric one. I think you can buy sprays for fabric which to a point stops the spores from getting in the air. I know you can do that with animals to stop the animal dander.

    You can also buy mattress and pillow protectors to put on your bed though I don't know how well they work. x

  • I don't think you should drive if you feel unsafe. If I was you I would seriously look at changing the job to one in a dust free, child free area. You just have to think of something that you would love doing that's in a better enviroment. Good luck, huff x

  • Hi huff, thanks so much for your reply. I am currently looking into a different job without children and so much dust. Its heartbreaking as I love kids :-(

    But I know there is no point as I would be so unreliable if I am constantly ill. And I don't want to put the kids in danger!! I have applied for at least another 5 jobs today and hope I will get something. I would be okay as a Carer in elderly peoples homes as long as I can have a good look around to see what the house looks like of course. I would also do housekeeping again making sure the house isn't too old with lots of mould etc. Gardening would also be nice as I have worked on flower farms in Australia for years. I am sure I will find something that I hopefully enjoy as much as working with children. Kids are just always ill :-( Thanks again for the advice x

  • Hello Ines2885, you certainly need to review your career but the decision in the end will have to be upto you. You can make adjustments in your own home but not in other peoples. Good luck if you decide to change career xx

  • Thanks Katie, I have thought of changing my career for years..just couldn't actually ever do it!! I will have to do it now though as I am on so much medication its just awful. I have also got severe Endometriosis which means I am undergoing surgery every few years and I am on strong pain killers (Codeine and more) for at least 1-2 weeks per month to cope with the pain. All the different meds leave me spaced out for ages each day, which doesn't help when I have to drive and take care of little children! In this new job I would have to drive to work 30 mins each day on busy country roads and then drive the kids everywhere as well. I realised that I can not do this whilst being on strong antihistamines and pain killers which leave me all drowsy, dizzy and confused for 1-2 weeks each month. I am just so scared that something would happen to the little ones in my care :-( So I have to change my career right now which is hard as its difficult to do this. I don't have the luxuries to be without work for more than a few weeks. We have a mortgage to pay. I just hope I will find something else asap. Even if its cleaning. xx

  • Hi again, cleaning is not ideal if dust effects you, however it is saver than driving children when taking drugs. As you are a nanny could you not use your experience to work in a children's home or nursery. Maybe a teachers helper or take care of children in your own home while their parents work. Start a small business from home so you can work hours to suit when you are ill. I understand the financial need to work as I have been in that position myself in the past. Good luck with finding a new job xx Oh we took in students to help in days gone by. It is great if you have a spare room.

  • I think a change of career or a different place to work in would be a very good idea. Give it some thought but it doesn't sound ideal to me. If the children are ill often then you could catch something too. I wish you luck in making your decision. xx

  • Thanks sassy59, I am currently online looking for another job/career option. xx

  • HI helenann12, thanks so much for this. How do I know if I have EMPHYSEMA?? I am constantly at the drs due to bronchitis, lung infections, ear and sinus infections caused by asthma and allergy problems and especially because the children I look after at work are always ill. I am currently trying to decide whether I should change my career all together as I hate being always ill :-( But I guess it would still be worth for me to take extra vitamin A, then?

  • Hi Ines, I too had allergic rhinitis and Asthma for many years and I had to drive in the morning, I took my tablets (which were long acting 24hr antihistamine tabs) before bed. This worked for me. However, I was diagnosed at 26 years old and it took 3 years for the GP to find an antihistamine which worked. It could be that you will have to keep returning to the GP until you find one which works for you. As for the job I would definitely change. Back when I began to suffer with the rhinitis we had carpets thick curtains etc all dust traps. I now have simple curtains, wooden floors and furniture with washable covers, my cleaner comes in weekly and I am so much better. The other point about dust mite is don't forget your pillows need to be covered with washable covers, as does the mattress, (they will need regular washing on 60 deg washes to kill the dust mite). Good luck and if there is anything else you need help with just ask. Maximonkey.

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