Allergies and asthma can be a challenge at any time of the year but when you add holiday festivities it certainly can make life more difficult. We all want to enjoy being with family and friends and all the other holiday celebrations associated with them. It is supposed to be a time all of us to express our joy and love for each other, but if you’re not able to breathe or having other miserable symptoms that allergies and asthma cause it definitely makes it harder to enjoy our family and friends and take part in all the festivities. There are ways that can help you cope, to plan ahead and take some preventative steps that hopefully with make life a little easier, help you survive, and stay healthier.
For all the many millions of people who suffer from allergies and asthma just the winter cold weather can be a problem, then everyone is hustling and bustling from all the extra social events and shopping for gifts that causes extra stress to your whole body. It’s to consider wearing a warm scarf around your face during the cold winter weather to warn off a potential attack, especially for asthma suffers.
Tips to Help You Cope With The Holidays & Still Enjoy Them:
1. Caroling: Going caroling can be a problem with the cold winter weather that can make it very hard to breathe for asthma sufferers. So if you really enjoy going caroling maybe try just singing every third song and keep you face covered with a warm scarf between. It might just make it tolerable and you will be able to have an enjoyable time.
2. The Christmas Tree: Everyone loves the smell of a live Christmas tree, but it may not be the best choice for anyone with asthma or allergies. Your best choice probably would be an artificial tree and one that doesn’t have artificial snow. If you already have one make sure it is free from mold, mildew, and dust. That can definitely set off an unwanted reaction. To store the tree for the next year buy a Christmas Tree container that is air tight or the zipper type bag that you can close tightly and store somewhere that is not damp or wet.
I always loved a real tree, but because the pine increased my symptoms drastically I finally bought an artificial one and it looks very realistic. And extra bonus is you save money by not buying a new tree every year and we all have to be concerned about our budget these days.
3. Poinsettia: They are a member of the rubber tree family, are everywhere this time of year. If you have a latex allergy you really need to stay away from them.
4. Decorations: It is best to use glass, metal, plastic ornaments and clean and dust them before using them. Try to stay away from fabric ornaments–they tend to collect dust mites and any fabric decorations you have make sure you wash them in hot soapy water. It might be a good idea if you are helping decorate to wear a face mask to avoid contaminants, I always do. Again make sure you store your decorations in a dry area and put them in plastic bags inside and air-tight containers. Don’t use artificial snow – it is filled with toxic chemicals and could be trigger a serious allergic reaction.
5. Scented Candles and Products: The holiday season is a favorite time for people to burn and use toxic scented sprays that smell like cinnamon, pine, bayberry, and many other scents. If this is trigger for you and are going to visit someone please let them know so that they will not be burning any candles or have any other scented products. If you really want a nice healthy refreshing scent try some organic natural herbs, even orange, limes or lemon peels and put them in boiling water –they will give off a wonderful soothing scent.
6. Food: If you are going to a party or to dinner let you host know of any food allergies or sensitivities you have. Explain to them the importance and serious health issue it could cause if you eat any food that you body cannot tolerate. Hopefully they will make sure that there is some foods there you can eat or if you feel that is going to be too much of a problem you can always take your own food with you or eat before you go. Remember with food allergies avoidance is the best remedy.
Homemade items can be contaminated with trace amounts of allergic foods through contact with storage containers, baking sheets, kitchen surfaces, and utensils. If your going to a restaurant make sure that you ask many questions about what is in the food and explain to them your food allergies and sensitivities so that they understand the severity of the problem.
7. Going for a Sleigh Ride: If you have ever been on a sleigh ride in the country you know how much fun it can be. Outdoor air quality can be a problem. You need to take extra precautions and try to avoid any area that might induce a trigger to reaction, such as areas with wet leaves can be a breeding ground for mold or any other seasonal triggers. Make sure you have a scarf for your face especially if the air cold and it certainly wouldn’t be a bad idea to wear a face mask that covers your mouth and nose.
8. Roasted Chestnut Over the Fire: As the song says roasted chestnuts over the open fire and jack frost nipping at your nose – all this can be part of the holiday joy. But if you have a fireplace it can definitely compromise your indoor air quality which can cause reactions. Make sure if you are using an open fireplace that the chimney has been cleaned thoroughly, make sure the fireplace vents are working well and if you have doors keep them closed to reduce the exposure to embers and smoke. The wood can be a problem too, because many times mold will grow on logs. So you might want to consider the pros and cons before roasted chestnuts, if it is worth the risk of a potential severe reaction? There are many ways to enjoy the Holidays!
9. Drinking and Being Merry: If you choose to drink beverages such as wine, beer – just be aware that they contain sulfites, histamines and other allergens. Be careful of punches too because they can contain some many unknown ingredients which could be a trigger for you.
For more information go to–The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has more about allergies and asthma.
I hope some of the information I have provided will be useful for you and help your holidays be pleasurable. Sometimes we cannot control everything around us and to avoid a serious potential health issues we have to make a choice. Is attending certain gathering or social events is worth the risk? Many times I have taken my food so that I could attend an important event. Let’s just remember that the Christmas and the Holiday’s are about love, family, friends and the spirit of giving.
Remember to “Go Green” & “Organic” to “Life A Healthier Lifestyle!
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Quote of the Day: A scientist said, making a plea for exchange scholarships between nations, “The very best way to send an idea is to wrap it up in a person.” That was what happened at Christmas. The idea of divine love was wrapped up in a Person! – Halford E. Luccock