Many people assume that allergies and asthma are problems that disappear once the cold weather kicks in, but this isn’t the case, especially during the holiday season.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) two-thirds of allergy sufferers experience symptoms all year round. Even after pollen dies down, there are a number of triggers that can aggravate those who normally suffer from allergies and asthma. While the most obvious and most common trigger is cold, dry air, there are other triggers that are specific to the holiday season.
People who suffer from sensitive immune responses like allergies should be aware of holiday allergy triggers, especially if they plan to travel. Packing medicines, or natural therapies to deal with the discomfort will be important.
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If you want to avoid holiday allergy triggers, review the list below – it could explain why you’ve had problems in previous years.
Pets can also be a big trigger over the holiday season. While some people may have a history of mild allergies to pets, that allergy can worsen around the holidays because they are indoors more, playing or cuddling with their pets. If you don’t have a pet yourself, but visit someone who does, it may trigger a reaction. Remember you can also develop a new allergy at any point in your life.
Living with allergies and asthma is not easy at any time of year, so when the holidays roll around it just adds another set of challenges. The good news is that you can protect yourself with some thoughtful planning.
Food plays such a big role in holiday celebrations, so if allergies are a concern for you, eating before a party or family gathering might be a good idea. Another option is to bring some snacks with you, just in case you can’t eat what is being served.
The most common foods involved in allergies are: eggs, peanuts, wheat, fish, shellfish, nuts and cows milk. However, many people are surprised to learn that turkey can be a major allergy trigger. It turns out that allergens in stuffing can be absorbed into the meat. Cooking a turkey unstuffed might be a better idea. You can also think about cooking an organic, free-range turkey that has no additives in it.
While it is not common for food to cause asthma attacks, it is possible for food preservatives to trigger asthma. Sodium bisulfite, potassium bisulfite, and sodium sulfite are just a few examples of additives that could lead to an asthma attack. With careful consideration, many people are able to avoid asthma triggers related to food.
The following foods have been known to trigger asthma:
Nobody wants to be sniffling, sneezing, and coughing through the holidays. Prevention is the best defense against both allergies and asthma.
Here are some tips to avoid holiday allergy and asthma triggers:
If you experience shortness of breath or you have a wheezing sound in your chest when you breathe, you just might have asthma. If you have skin rashes, itchy watery eyes, headaches and a cough, it could be allergies. Some people suffer from both allergies and asthma.
It’s important not to suffer in silence and, once diagnosed, to know that there are many ways to cope, even during the holidays. Planning ahead and asking your family and friends to make some minor adjustments to accommodate you will mean you can get through the season without feeling miserable and missing out on all the great festivities.
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