‘Tis the Season for Allergic Reactions


Nine tips to keep allergies at bay this holiday season

With the holiday season just around the corner, millions of Americans are preparing to gather for feasts, decorate their homes and travel to visit relatives. However, for food allergy and asthma sufferers, the
holiday season presents several potential triggers.

Whether its feasting on holiday meals, setting up your Christmas tree or visiting your pet-owning relatives, allergy triggers may be lurking inside of our warm, cozy homes this time of year. With busy schedules, travel time and the stress of the holidays, it is easy to forget to take the proper care when dealing with allergies and asthma.
However, avoiding potential triggers and taking the proper precautions is necessary to keep symptoms under control. I suggest the following tips when traveling this holiday season:

Tip #1 – Let the Host Know

When attending holiday parties or family gatherings, inform the host about your or your children’s food allergy and ask about the ingredients
used to prepare the meal. You may consider doing this prior to the event so there is better planning and preparation.

Tip #2 – Be Prepared

Carry autoinjectable epinephrine when attending a holiday party where unrecognized food allergens could be hiding. Homemade items do not
have ingredient lists and could be contaminated with trace amounts of allergenic foods through contact with storage containers or kitchen utensils.

Tip #3 – Give Friendly Reminders

Remind family members and friends that strict avoidance is the only way to manage food allergies and that even one little bite can trigger a reaction.

Tip #4 – Minimize the Reaction

If visiting relatives’ homes who own pets, take your allergy medication before arriving in order to minimize a possible reaction.

Tip#5 – Take It Outside

Clean decorations and artificial trees outside before decorating. They can gather mold and dust while in storage.

#6 – Reduce Your Stress

The holidays are stressful. Pay attention to your stress level, which can sometimes lead to an asthma attack. Remember to actually relax and enjoy it!

Tip #7 – Bring Your Own Pillow

Take along your own pillow with an allergen-proof cover and request down-free pillows if staying in a hotel or at a relatives’ house.

Tip #8 – Say No to Smoke

Ask your relatives and friends to avoid burning wood in the fireplace. The smoke can trigger an asthma attack.

Tip #9 – Take Control

The best way to ensure you do not have an asthma attack over the holidays is to make sure it is controlled prior to the events. Your asthma may not be controlled if you are:

  • Using your rescue inhaler more than two times a week
  • Experiencing coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath with activity
  • Waking in the night with coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath

If you are concerned about managing your food allergies or asthma during the holidays or feel your asthma is not controlled, then call my office right away! I will assist you and provide guidance in having a safe and healthy holiday.

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