With the arrival of winter, seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and asthma sufferers can breathe relief as most outdoor allergens disappear until spring. But holiday gatherings and spending more time indoors exposes many people to different allergen triggers.
Holiday decorations, travel and stress can all present challenges for people with allergies and asthma. Here are some of the most common triggers to be on the lookout for:
- Does your Christmas tree make you sneeze or cause shortness of breath? It’s unlikely that you are allergic to the tree itself, but the fragrance may be irritating. Some trees may also be home to microscopic mold spores that trigger asthma or allergies, causing symptoms like sneezing or an itchy nose. Use an artificial tree or, if you must have the real thing, let the tree dry in a garage or enclosed porch for a week and give it a good shake prior to bringing it inside.
- Follow directions carefully when spraying artificial snow or flocking. Inhaling these sprays can irritate your lungs and trigger asthma symptoms.
- If you leave your pet behind when traveling for the holidays, you may experience allergy or asthma symptoms on your return home. Dubbed the “Thanksgiving Effect” this phenomenon occurs when a person loses tolerance to her own pet after being away for a few days.
- Be aware that stress can lead to asthma attacks. Chemicals released by the body during stressful times can cause the muscles around your airways to tighten, making it difficult to breathe.
Enjoy the holiday season with all your family and friends. Don’t let asthma or allergy symptoms ruin your special time this winter! Stay alert and be preparedfor all the possibilities of attacks above and the only thing you need to worry about is which family members are going where and on what date! If you have any further questions about the holidays and the allergen triggers they could bring to asthma and allergy sufferers, don’t hesitate to give the doctors at Asthma & Allergy Associates a call today! They are here to help you!