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Scent Allergy as a Disability – How to Navigate the Work Environment

Scent Allergy as a Disability – How to Navigate the Work Environment

A Changing Landscape We are in a period of history where awareness is the name of the game. Empathy is taking centre stage, and as a culture we are becoming more understanding of the needs of all of the different people who make up the fabric of our society – especially those who are marginalized or facing emotional and physical hardships. As incredible strides are made for the comfort and safety of all, new definitions are created. We ask ourselves – what constitutes a disability? Issues that are merely discomforts for some are now understood to be crippling...
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Allergies in the Media

Allergies in the Media

Earlier this year, Sony Pictures found itself mired in an unexpected controversy following the release of Peter Rabbit. In the film – in which Peter battles the hapless Tom McGregor for control of the latter’s garden – Peter discovers that his nemesis is deathly allergic to blackberries. He then uses blackberries as a weapon, firing them with a slingshot and causing an anaphylactic shock when he lands one in Tom McGregor’s mouth. Tom only survives because he manages to inject himself with an Epi-Pen before passing out. Peter Rabbit is nevertheless a children’s comedy in...
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The History of Food Allergy Treatments

The History of Food Allergy Treatments

These days, most Canadians have learned to be careful with their food. Allergy awareness has drastically increased in the past few decades, leading to warnings on food labels and restaurant menus that clearly indicate dishes that contain gluten, fish, or nuts.   It’s easy to see why our society has become more precautious. According to Food Allergy Canada, more than 2.6 million Canadians suffer from a food allergy, while fully half of all Canadians know someone with such an allergy. Whether you have to avoid eggs or be more careful when bringing treats to work, everyone...
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A Dad Learned That Food Allergies are No Joke

A Dad Learned That Food Allergies are No Joke

David used to think all the talk about allergies was overblown. He grew up eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and while it’s not like he thought anyone was making things up, he wasn’t quite sure how school cafeterias had changed so much since he was a kid. That was before he had children of his own. When his daughter Anna was three, he had rushed to the hospital in a panic when she stopped breathing while eating a cookie. David was relieved when the doctors were able to save her life, but it still came as a bit of a shock when they told him she was allergic to...
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The History of Asthma Treatment in Canada

The History of Asthma Treatment in Canada

Asthma is a chronic medical condition that affects approximately three million Canadians. The disease causes inflammation in the lungs and airways, and typically manifests with symptoms like wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. So how do doctors treat it? As early as 1896, Western doctors knew that allergies were strongly correlated with asthma. Our medical knowledge has improved in the decades since, but the general diagnostic principle remains the same. We know that allergies can trigger asthmatic symptoms. Identifying and avoiding common allergens like dust,...
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Ontario Health Care Workers and the Medical Appeal Process (MAP) for LTD Claims;  Fricke v. SSQ Case Raises Questions About Fairness of the MAP process

Ontario Health Care Workers and the Medical Appeal Process (MAP) for LTD Cl...

Ontario health care workers covered under an Ontario Hospital Association long term disability plan, may be familiar with the Medical Appeal Process (“MAP”) offered to claimants whose LTD claims have been denied by a disability insurance company. This process is described in the recent case of Fricke v. SSQ, 2018 ONSC 5609. In this case, the Court dismissed SSQ’s application for dismissal, by way of summary judgment, on the basis that while the MAP process provided for a binding appeal process, questions remain as to whether the process properly instructed the doctor...
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Failed Disability Claim for Perfume Allergy

Failed Disability Claim for Perfume Allergy

Linda had grown up a child of the late-80s. While she’d watch her mother get ready to go out to parties, she’d admire the perfumes she’d lavish on herself; Poison by Christian Dior; Opium by Yves Saint Laurent; Obsession by Calvin Klein; even the classic Chanel No. 5. They all stuck in her mind as the ultimate symbols of femininity. As she grew up, her infatuation with perfume continued to grow. All her life, Linda had been prone to migraines. She could never seem to predict what would bring them on. Doctors and specialists alike couldn’t seem to pin down precisely what...
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When A Respiratory Condition Prevents You From Working

When A Respiratory Condition Prevents You From Working

Bill had been working on construction sites for his entire adult life. He always put his best foot forward, did his job well, and cultivated a successful decades-long career. It wasn’t until twenty years into this career that he started to develop respiratory problems. At first, Bill noticed that he was having some minor allergic reactions to dust for the first time. This was a major concern for him, as he was constantly surrounded by dust and other particles in the air on job sites. When his symptoms progressed to a point of serious concern, he went to his doctor to seek...