A season normally filled with joy can turn miserable quickly. Seasonal allergic rhinitis and asthma sufferers can breathe relief as most outdoor allergens disappear until spring, but holiday gatherings and increased time spent indoors means more exposure to different allergen triggers. In an effort to help you avoid the hazards of the holidays, we’ve compiled some tips to keep you from wheezing and sneezing.
Oh, Christmas tree: It’s not just the live trees that can trigger symptoms; the artificial variety can, too! To avoid allergic triggers use a leaf blower to blow any pollen, mold spores or terpene on the tree. You can also wash the tree off with a garden hose. Letting the tree sit to dry in an open place like your garage will definitely help. For artificial trees, we recommend taking them outside and washing also as they, too, can harbor dust and mold.
Deck the Halls: Decorations including Menorahs, artificial wreathes and ornaments spend most of the year stored, this leaves a lot of time for dust and other allergy triggers to settle on them. Before decorating your house with them be sure to clean each item thoroughly. When it’s time to pack them up again use airtight containers.
We all want some figgy pudding: What are the holidays without food? It seems every social gathering during this time of year includes lots of treats and goodies. Of course, this increases the likelihood of someone with food allergies accidently eating something they will have a reaction to. Always ask the host of each party about the ingredients in the food. Discussing possible allergens beforehand can reduce the likelihood of a reaction.
I’ll be home for Christmas: Always remember to carry your medication with you when traveling. If traveling by plane, include your medication in your carry-on. Concerned about the potential for dust mites where you’re staying? Bring your own pillow and a mattress cover to use.
You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch: The Holidays can be stressful, and though it doesn’t directly cause allergies or asthma, it can be toxic to your immune system. Chemicals released by your body when stressed can actually cause muscles around your airway to tighten, making it difficult to breathe. Steer clear of Holiday stress and Breathe EZ.
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