The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baker's Rhinitis

boshane's picture

Baker's Rhinitis

I'm a bit ashamed that this will be my first forum post on this awesome site, but anyways...

I work in a bakery, and over the past few months I've been getting a runny nose, lots of sneezing, watery eyes, etc. I assumed it was the weather or a long, mild cold, but it came back with a vengeance today, I did some research, and it looks like I have Baker's Rhinitis. Apparently it's quite common, and as many as 25% of occupational bakers develop the allergy at some point in their career.

I'm a bit upset right now especially because my wife and I have been seriously considering buying the bakery where we work, and I was betting on a lot of long shifts.

But it's somewhat debilitating when I have to blow my nose and wash my hands every five minutes.


Is there any hope? Would wearing a mask help? I'll go to a doctor and get some allergy tests done, but at this point it's making a lot of sense.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Head for the doctor.  They can tell a lot just from a blood test.  I would certainly discuss this wtih your doctor before investing in the Bakery.   (Unless you have a deep sea dive suit you're keen on wearing.)  Then go from there.  First the test results and get them done today so you don't have this hanging over you for the long week-end.

Until then, Face mask good idea.  Your hair traps lots of dust too and throws it back into your face, try wearing some kind of disposable hair cap and shower immediately after work.


Richelle's picture

Of course have the allergy checked out by a doctor. In the meantime, if you're not adverse to some self-medication, try treating it with anti-histamine tablets and an ordinary nose-spray to keep your sinuses open. I'm allergic to lots of things and I have to take anti-histamine tablets every day. I've been taking them for the last 20 years or so with no ill side-effects. During the winter months, when I'm only exposed to some of the things I'm allergic to, I can manage with just half a tablet a day. I increase the dosis in the spring when the grasses and later the olive trees are blooming in my area. Usually, when treating a new allergy, you need a higher dosis to start with, and once your body starts responding, you can lower the dose to 'maintenance' level.

Good luck - and don't let a treatable thing like an allergy come between you and your plans for the future!