Are you Allergic to the Holidays?

Now that the fall allergy season is behind us, allergy and asthma sufferers can take a breath of relief. But it’s pertinent that you stay cautious, the holiday season can bring on unexpected allergy triggers.

Christmas Trees

Constant sneezing and coughing isn’t how you want to spend your holiday season, but it may be the reality for some allergy sufferers. Did you know that real Christmas trees sometimes carry molds that can trigger an allergic reaction in some people? Yes, you read that correctly: it’s possible to be allergic to Christmas. That doesn’t necessarily make you the Grinch –it simply means that you are sensitive to mold allergens. These molds can cause hay fever-like symptoms that may include sneezing, watery eyes and itchy nose. (Perhaps, this is why Rudolph’s nose is red)

As a solution, cleaning your Christmas tree can diminish allergy symptoms. This can be done by shaking off debris before bringing the tree inside. Another solution is to rinse off the tree with a water hose, leave the tree in a warm area for a few days, and then bring it inside.

Using an artificial tree is an even better alternative. The only issue is that improperly stored Christmas trees can also accumulate mold spores, dust, and other irritating allergens. Remember to store artificial trees in air tight containers.

In summary, whatever tree you buy, real or artificial,  clean the tree off before bringing into your home. Luckily, most people don’t have issues with allergies around Christmas trees, but for those extremely sensitive it’s best to take these precautionary measures.

Food Allergies

Food plays a major role in holiday celebrations. If you or your child suffer from a food allergy, it can be difficult to navigate around all the food. Make sure to ask the cook for the ingredients before trying a dish. Also keep in mind that cross contamination is common during preparation. As a safety measure, keep your auto-injector epinephrine on hand.

If navigating around your food allergies has proven to be difficult in the past, bring your own dish.

Holiday Decorations

Just like the artificial Christmas tree can grow mold and collect dust mites, other decorations can do the same. Give your ornaments and lights a good wipe down before decorating. After the holiday season properly store the decorations.

Stress

Holidays are meant to be enjoyed, but for some it can get stressful. As we all know stress can cause asthma attacks. Keep your immune system healthy and manage your asthma symptoms efficiently. Things like yoga and meditation can help you reduce stress around this time of year.