The holiday season is a wonderful time where we have decorations, food, family, and celebration! As we discussed with Halloween and Thanksgiving, if you have asthma or allergies, you may need to be cautious navigating new foods, environments, and surroundings.
Consider these following triggers as you plan for the holidays:
Holiday plants are a common cause for allergy and asthma exacerbations. While real pine trees themselves are not the culprit, mold spores or even pollen within can lead to many problems for allergic patients. Artificial trees and stored decor can also cause issues due to the dust that has collected within them. Poinsettias contain a compound similar to rubber latex and can cause a severe reaction for latex allergic patients.
As we discussed in our Thanksgiving blog, a table will be set with several dishes that can have multiple allergies. If you or a family member has allergies, be sure to talk to the host prior to eating. Store bought items must be labeled for the top 8 allergens (and top 9 starting January 1, 2023!).
Many people will light candles and have the fireplace going to add to the holiday ambiance. Scented candles can cause irritation leading to allergy and asthma flares. Smoke from burning wood can also be a trigger. If you are hosting, consider electric or flameless options.
Last but not least, if you haven’t already realized, this year has been a brutal year for viruses. With COVID, Influenza A, Influenza B, and RSV on the rise, think about ways to protect everyone including yourself. Washing hands regularly and thoroughly, getting your flu shot and COVID boosters, and bowing out if you are sick are great ways to take care of your family and yourself.
All in all, being prepared can help you enjoy a holiday season especially as we may have missed celebrating the last few years. Happy Holidays from the ASAP Family!