The possibility of having an asthma or allergy attack for people with allergies and asthma or other respiratory diseases occurs all throughout the year. However, there are hidden triggers that may affect your health during holiday season. Here are some tips for everyone - especially those suffering from asthma, allergies and other respiratory diseases - to stay fit and have fun during the holiday season.
1. Close Contact
Family and friends gather to celebrate during the holiday season. People are hugging and kissing, which is unfortunately a way how respiratory viruses get passed around. The following are suggestions that may reduce the risk of catching a upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) or of passing one on, if you have one:
- If you have a URTI do not get too close to others. For example, kissing, hugging, etc.
- If you have a URTI, wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Avoid sharing towels if you have a URTI, or with anyone who has a URTI.
- For children, discourage the sharing of toys belonging to a child with a URTI
2. Irritating Odors
Exposure to irritating odors and sometimes, smoke is a possibility during gatherings. One individual’s fragrant perfume could be another individual’s trigger for a sneezing attack. Avoidance of the trigger irritant is the ideal treatment but cannot always be achieved in reality. Wearing a mask or breathing through a handkerchief may be helpful.
3. Food preparation and Gift giving
Families who have kids with food allergies tell us this can be the most stressful time of year. The best tip is clear communication. Take the lead and plan ahead. Remind your kids about food allergies. If you’re planning to host or you’re guests for holiday gatherings, communicate early about your allergies. Travel safe with all your emergency medications with you. Let parents make the decision about gifts for their child with allergies and asthma.
4. Crazy Schedules
Normal disciplined schedules are usually not followed during holiday season. However, people who have chronic problems such as asthma should be extra diligent in paying attention to their normal preventive measures. Please make sure that they're taking their preventive medications regularly. More tips on “Christmas Tree Allergies” to follow in my next blog. The team at The Allergy Group wishes you a great and safe holiday season with your family and friends!!