Sick Building Syndrome is a condition that can be caused by poor air quality in homes, offices, or other enclosed, shared spaces. It's more common than you think. It's estimated that as much as 30 percent of new or remodeled buildings have air quality that is considered poor.

So how is Sick Building Syndrome diagnosed? It's tricky. There can be a vast range of symptoms to look out for. A lot of them can be attributed to other conditions such as colds or flu. One way to know if it's SBS or something else is if symptoms disappear when you leave your office. If they do, it's a good sign it's the office itself that's causing the problem.

If your office has poor air quality, office space air filters may help. Try air purifiers for the office at

Symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome

Common symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome include difficulty in breathing, runny nose, tight chest, scratchy throat, skin rashes, headaches, allergic symptoms, dizziness, difficulty in concentrating, tiredness, and irritability. People who have pre-existing respiratory conditions or allergies might find their current symptoms getting worse.

Causes of Sick Building Syndrome

The term Sick Building Syndrome is usually used when another specific cause for symptoms can't be identified. But then, there are a bunch of possible causes for symptoms. Poor ventilation and bad air quality in office spaces is a common factor, alongside causes including high dust levels, mold and fungus, pesticides, high or low levels of humidity, high levels of carbon monoxide and chemicals in the air. An air purifier can help improve your office environment and relieve symptoms.

Because there are a lot of possible symptoms for SBS, and a lot of possible causes for those symptoms, it can be a hard condition to diagnose. Most often, your doctor will examine you and run tests to eliminate all other possibilities, such as flu or allergies. Once those are off the table, your doctor may turn to ask you about your office environment. If you notice that your symptoms are worse while at work, or just don't exist outside of the office, be sure to let your doctor know.

Treating Sick Building Syndrome

Sick Building Syndrome is treated using medicines that improve symptoms, but the critical factor in getting better is to enhance the quality of air in the office environment. Report your SBS diagnosis to your superior or boss. There are several things they can do that will help you, and anyone else in your workplace who may be suffering.

- Keeping the office dust-free by vacuuming and dusting regularly
- Switching cleaning products to fragrance-free alternatives
- Purchasing an air purifier
- Cleaning air vents and filters regularly
- Keeping office humidity between 30 and 50 percent
- Testing for mold and mildew

Once these improvements have taken place, most people will see their symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome improve. You can also decrease your risk factors by regularly opening windows, taking regular outdoor breaks, and giving yourself a break by getting up to walk around every so often.

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