With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the holiday season is about to begin. A lot of people will be traveling to their hometowns to meet up with family and friends, and it is generally a period for many to retreat, relax, and indulge.
If you are allergic, the holiday season can be full of traps that can trigger your symptoms and give you trouble. We prepared a list of 5 tips that will help you prepare for the most wonderful time of the year:
1. Sweet treats
The holiday season leading up to Christmas is filled with indulgent goodies – pies, cookies, and other special treats and dishes are part of what makes the last month of the year so special. People suffering from food allergies or intolerances should stay alert: a lot of baked goods contain milk, wheat, nuts, and other possible allergens. When in doubt, always be inquisitive and ask about the ingredients to figure out if it is safe for you (or a family member) to eat and enjoy. Alternatively, hit up the world of food blogs to find allergy-safe cookie & co. recipes or get creative in the kitchen yourself!
2. Christmas trees
Can you be allergic to your Christmas tree? Unfortunately, yes. Fir and pine trees can distribute mold spores in your living room that can trigger allergic reactions and asthma. On the other hand, artificial trees could potentially trigger dust mite allergy symptoms since most of these trees are disassembled at the end of the holiday season and kept in a dusty box for the next 11 months. If you use an artificial tree, dust it thoroughly (do this outside, if possible) before assembling and decorating it.
3. Holiday decorations
Like artificial Christmas trees, we tend to store fairy lights and ornaments in boxes kept in dusty basements or attics. So, before you start sprucing up your home to bring some festive cheer inside your four walls, clean all your decorative elements and free them from all the dust that has collected on their surfaces over the year.
4. Scented candles
Many people love to use scented candles to bring ambient scent into their home. From pumpkin spice to winter cranberry, you could have it all. But did you know that there are airborne particles set free by strong fragrances and candle smoke that trigger sneezing fits, irritate the eyes, and can even cause asthma symptoms? We suggest using a more natural fragrance to get you into the holiday mood – perhaps by baking some fresh, allergy-free Christmas cookies?
5. Family pets
Last year, a lot of us stayed at home and celebrated the holidays in a smaller circle than usual. This year, you might be traveling to see your relatives again. If you are planning to stay at someone else’s house, make sure to pack your allergy medication in case you will be spending a lot of time together with a pet you might be allergic to, since it might not always be possible to spend your time in a different room than the family dog or cat.
Most importantly, however: enjoy the holiday season! As long as you are informed and prepared, nothing can stop you from relaxing and having a great time with your loved ones this December.