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Tuesday, December 12, 2017
There’s nothing like the smells of the holiday season: freshly baked cookies, Christmas trees, and cold crisp winter air. But, if you have allergies, these scents can actually make life pretty difficult! The things that are supposed make this time of year great quickly turn it into a season of sniffling, congestion, and, for those with severe food allergies, danger.
“The holidays are always a time when we see individuals with environmental or food allergies struggle,” SouthCoast Health Allergist Dr. Wasil Khan explained. “Thanks to the cold weather pushing people indoors more and certain holiday traditions, people with allergies spend a lot more concentrated time around the things that bother them.”
If you’re nervous about how your allergies will affect you this Holiday season, we’ve gathered some tips to help.
Decide for Yourself: Artificial vs. Real Decorations
While nothing beats the smell of fresh Christmas trees, the mold spores and pollen that cling to tree trunks and branches spike many people’s allergies. If you’d still like to have a real Christmas tree up, give it a good clean before bringing it inside. Either hose it down or use a leaf blower to get rid of those clinging pollens. Wipe down the trunk of the tree to be extra thorough.
However, even artificial decorations pose problems. Storing plastic alternatives incorrectly can create mold and dust particles. To avoid this, make sure to store them in dry containers and wipe them down before decorating.
Know Your Allergies and Communicate Them
With the many seasonal parties to attend, it can quickly become complicated trying to keep up with what food you can and cannot eat when you don’t know where the food came from or how it was prepared.
However, if you know your food allergies, the easiest way to maneuver the holiday party maze is by communicating your sensitivities. In other words, let your family and friends know what you can and cannot eat as they are planning. That way, they can prepare items specifically for you to enjoy and know to tell you which ones to avoid.
Another great alternative is offering to host these parties yourself. This way, you’ll have complete control over things like food, decorations, and other allergies that might potentially bother you such as family pets.
Cleaning Properly Is Important
As mentioned above, a big reason why allergy symptoms spike this time of year is the much-increased time spent indoors. Dust mites from decorations and allergens from holiday traditions sit in the air, and, since pets are also spending more time indoors, pet hair appears more and more. But it’s nothing good cleaning habits can’t address!
Change air filters frequently, wash bedding in hot water at least twice a month, and treat yourself to some allergen-resistant covers for pillows and mattresses. Spend time weekly, if not daily, cleaning counters, floors, and carpets. This way, spending more time around these allergens won’t be as hard.
Prepare Ahead and Use Medication
If you know you’ll be walking into a situation that is bound to kick up your allergies, prepare ahead and take doctor-prescribed and approved medications. A relative’s huge Christmas tree or many pets won’t have any effect on you this way!
Take a Deep Breath and Relax
While it can seem impossible to slow down during the holiday rush, it’s extremely important to give yourself some time to relax. The more stressed you are, the more negative of an effect your allergies have.
Effort towards including more non-stress inducing activities in your schedule, such as reading or taking a walk. Doing so will reduce the affects off holiday allergies.
If you have more questions or you’re still worried about being less jolly this holiday thanks to your seasonal allergies, schedule an appointment with SouthCoast Health allergy specialists today.
Whether you are looking for a primary care doctor or a pediatrician, or another medical specialist, SouthCoast Health has you covered with its wide range of world-class healthcare services, available throughout the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry. SouthCoast Health has 120 physicians and medical professionals in 18 locations in Savannah, Richmond Hill, Pooler, Rincon, Baxley, Bluffton, Hilton Head, and Hinesville. SouthCoast Health offers comprehensive medical services including: Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Allergy and Immunity, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Eye Care, Imaging, Infectious Diseases, Nephrology, Neurology, Physical Therapy, Podiatry, Sleep Medicine, Surgery, Clinical Trial Research Studies, Diabetic Self-Management Training Sessions, Dietetic Counseling, High Risk Breast Cancer Clinic, Laboratory Services, Massage Therapy, Optical Shop, Pharmacy, and Urgent Care.