Among the many things the holidays bring about are certain allergy triggers, according to the medical community. From dusty boxes brought down from storage to fresh trees, the holidays can have a detrimental effect on allergy sufferers. Fortunately there are some steps you can take to avoid major allergic flare-ups. Dr. Joseph Leija, allergist, from the Loyola Unversity Health System, offers the following tips for that help allergy sufferers breathe a little easier this holiday season.
1 – Use an Artificial Tree
The clean fragrance from the balsam, fir and pine trees available on every corner tree lot is pleasing to many, but can also aggravate respiratory conditions. Not only is the scent an issue, but the dust, mites and other pollutants on the live tree can wreak havoc on your airways and nasal passages. “The water in the tree holder also grows stagnant and collects mold, which is detrimental to those with allergies,” added Dr. Leija.
2 – Never Use Scented Candles or Home Fragrance Oils
The popularity of home fragrance products and scented specialty candles reaches its peak during the holidays - and that can do a number on allergy symptoms. Unplug the electric scent distributors and take a pass on the potpourri simmering pots, says Leija. “Far from creating an inviting home, the fragrance aggravates the sinuses and respiratory system so sufferers can’t breathe."
3 – Avoid Real Poinsettias and Fresh Floral Arrangements
“The moist soil encourages the growth of mold. And if there is mold in your house, you are breathing mold spores,” said Dr. Leija. The mold causes the passageways to swell and restrict airflow and can even causes skin rashes.
4 – Keep The Humidity In Check
Warm and cool air humidifiers are used in many homes as a remedy to cold, dry air. “Get a gauge and keep the humidity no higher than 48 to 50 percent,” said Dr. Leija. “Too much humidity encourages the growth of mold, which triggers allergic reactions.”
5 - Store Holiday Decorations in Large Plastic Tubs
Lastly Dr. Leija recommends people store decorations and other holiday trinkets in large, resealable plastic tips. He also recommends dusting the tubs during the year to avoid dust build-up.
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