Holidays and allergies: Know how to avoid flare-ups
The holiday season is a special time but it can also sometimes bring about special challenges for people who suffer with allergies.
Dr. Casselman of Reid Allergy alerts that holiday feasts and pitch-ins, Christmas trees, and pets can all create reaction hazards for allergy sufferers.
Food allergy sufferers should be very mindful of specific ingredients in the foods consumed - being careful to watch out for cross-contamination of foods being prepared or coming into contact with foods to which they are allergic.
When possible bring your own foods to consume as the safest route or don't be afraid to ask for details on dishes made by those you trust. And also be sure to always have your epinephrine auto injector on hand to use in the event of accidental ingestion of foods to which you are allergic.
Allergic reactions to Christmas trees themselves are rare. But the fragrance of a real tree can be irritating to the respiratory tract and can result in sneezing nasal drainage/congestion and even asthma flare-ups. The trees can also contain mold spores which can be a source of allergic trigger. Be sure to let the real tree dry and shake it well before putting it up.
Artificial trees are a good option for those who suffer from real tree exposures - but be mindful if it has collected dust in storage and take steps to keep it clean.
Holiday travelers can have
particularly severe allergy attacks when arriving back home to their pets. This
phenomenon can result when those allergy sufferers lose the tolerance they have
to their pets after leaving the home for several days. Dr. Casselman suggests
being sure to take allergy medication before returning home to pets - or better
yet bring them along for the trip. Allergy immunotherapy is also an option to deal
with pet allergies.