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5 Signs You're Too Sick for Work

In that case, try the medication, give it 20 minutes; if in 30 you aren't measurably better and you really can't do anything, take the time - unless you have a situation where people are relying on you for time-sensitive interaction that you simply must get done to meet a schedule. If your cough feels deep and makes you short of breath, it's probably more than a common cold. Whatever is bothering you, you've got a decision to make: Elzo Valugi 6. I'd also be surprised if anyone wanted you to stay around if you weren't feeling well unless this happened regularly More than once every few months would indicate a problem I'd think I think you acted appropriately, but when it comes down to it--if you get the feeling that it bothered your boss and you like the job, don't do it again because it probably did bother him.

How sick is too sick to go to work? Advice on when you should just stay home. By Katherine Kam. From the WebMD Archives. If you feel too sick to work, stay home.

Chills and Sweats

Drugs with less of this side effect include loratidine and cetirizine. If your hay fever is severe or doesn't get better with antihistamines , you might want to see an allergist.

He can do tests to find out what's triggering the problem. He may recommend allergy shots to reduce your symptoms. For in-depth information, see Allergy or Cold Symptoms? If your clothes are getting drenched, you most likely have a fever.

Make sure you drink plenty of liquids. Consider seeing your doctor, especially if your temperature is over degrees F. If you have a fever plus white patches on your tonsils , you may have strep throat.

It's highly contagious and you may need an antibiotic. Call your doctor for a test that can confirm the diagnosis. For in-depth information, see Sore Throat: Cold, Strep Throat, or Tonsillitis? If you've got a tickle in the back of your throat or it feels like mucus is dripping into that area from your nose, your cough is probably from allergies or a cold.

But unless you've got other symptoms like aches or fever, get dressed and go to work! If you've been sick for a few days and you now cough up darker yellow mucus, it's still probably just a cold.

But if it goes on this way for more than a week, it's a good idea to see your doctor. If your cough feels deep and makes you short of breath, it's probably more than a common cold. It could be a sign of something more serious, such as bronchitis or pneumonia , so stay at home and call your doctor right away. For more information, see When a Cold Becomes Bronchitis. If your ear really hurts and you can't hear well, you could have an ear infection. Getting stuffed up from a cold can also cause pain.

Either way, you need to call your doctor to find the cause. He may prescribe an antibiotic or pain-relief medicine. Ear infections aren't contagious. But if you have cold symptoms along with an earache , you might spread it to someone else during the first 2 to 3 days.

For in-depth information, see Earache: Cold or Ear Infection? If you have pain around your eyes , top of the forehead, cheekbones, and even the top of your teeth , it may be a sign you've got a sinus infection.

If you feel too sick to work, stay home. Use decongestants for a few days, Haynes says. Nasal irrigation with saline solution also helps to cleanse the sinuses. What about flying for business? Neither Haynes nor Cummins counsels patients to absolutely avoid airplanes if they have a sinus infection. But both urge caution because air pressure changes inside the cabin may worsen pain, especially on takeoff and landing. In rare cases, flying with a sinus infection could cause a ruptured eardrum , Cummins says.

Pinkeye , or conjunctivitis , causes eye redness, tearing, itching , burning, or swollen eyelids. Eye discharge can be clear and watery or copious and yellow or green, and it can make your eyelids stick shut in the morning. If you touch your eye, the discharge that contains the bacteria or virus ends up on your hand.

When you touch objects, the germs can spread. Consider staying home for a few days until you get better. When you return to work, avoid touching your eyes and wash your hands often. Bacterial pinkeye does respond to antibiotic eye drops. You can go back to work hours after starting this treatment, Haynes says.

Many people figure out ways to manage mild back pain on the job. But sometimes it makes good sense to take time off to relieve stress on your sore back, for example, if your job involves a lot of bending or lifting heavy objects, she says. Sitting at a desk for long hours can also worsen back pain. If the pain is strong enough to distract you from your tasks, or if you have trouble sitting, standing, or walking comfortably, a couple of days off may help. Somebody who goes to bed and just lies there is going to prolong their recovery.

If you have more serious symptoms, such as pain radiating down the leg, muscle weakness, or intolerable back pain, call your doctor promptly, Cummins says. You see an ugly boil on your skin and wonder if a spider bit you. As the abscess becomes redder and more swollen and painful, you visit your doctor and discover that you have a staph skin infection, or perhaps even methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus MRSA.

Community-acquired staph infections are also more easily treatable. The infection can be treated. MRSA is most frequently transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact or by sharing contaminated items, such as towels or uniforms.

Check with your doctor about going back to work. How well can you carry out your work duties?

Explore Everyday Health

The next day, you'll probably be able to go to work, since it usually isn't contagious. If you're very sick or your symptoms get worse after a week, call your doctor. For more information, see. If you're sick and trying to decide whether or not to go to work, there are 5 things to consider, including if you have a fever, and have sick leave. And in some cases, that may be fine. But the truth about whether or not you should stay home from work when you are sick is a little more complicated. Things To Consider. Should you go to work when you’re sick? But for the sake of your health—and everyone in the office—call in sick and just stay home. Lily Martis, Monster staff.