By Dr. Craig Koenig, Allergy & Asthma Specialists - December 2011
The holidays bring travel and fun, but they also bring a whole host of potential allergy and asthma problems. Here are a few tips to make sure you have more fun than misery during this holiday season:
- Fireplaces. Although nothing beats a good fire during the holiday, the smoke and soot it produces can trigger breathing problems and even cause an asthma attack. Avoid using the fireplace if possible.
- Visiting. Prepare for visits to homes with pets by taking your asthma/allergy medications prior to your arrival. These medications should help lessen any symptoms that might develop. If possible, ask the host to keep the animals in a separate room. You can also reduce allergic reactions to dust and pet dander by bringing your own allergen-proof pillow when staying overnight with family/friends or at a hotel.
- Food. Family and friends often share homemade dishes and dessert items over the holidays. Unfortunately, these items do not come with an ingredient list. Get into the habit of asking the person who prepared the item about the ingredients. If there is any question about whether or not the item contains an allergen, then avoid the food and substitute something else. Also, remember that even “safe” items can become tainted by exposure to other items that contain allergens.
- Christmas trees. Clean dust from artificial Christmas trees and ornaments before displaying. Remember that glass, metal, and plastic decorations are easier to clean than fabric surfaces. Also, people can be allergic to Christmas trees. Reduce any potential allergic reactions to your Christmas tree by shaking it thoroughly and allowing it to dry in a covered area before displaying it indoors.
If you live in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Hampton Roads, and may be suffering from allergy, asthma, breathing problems, allergic reaction, pet allergies, or food allergies, please call us at any of our 3 locations listed below. Our asthma and allergy doctors are here to help you.
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For more than five decades our allergy and asthma doctors have been successfully treating adults and children with allergies, asthma, breathing problems, allergic reaction, pet allergies, food allergies, and more in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and throughout Hampton Roads.