While this holiday season may look different from those you’ve celebrated in the past, one thing remains the same – allergies. There are a number of triggers that will cause your nose to run and your eyes to itch just in time for the family photo.
Indoor Allergy Spike
More than 40 million Americans suffer from year-round allergies. During the winter, many see a spike in their allergy symptoms. According to Asriani Chiu, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics and medicine at the College of Wisconsin, “You’re in a closed-up house, the heater is on, the windows shut – that’s why indoor allergies get worse in the winter.”
Types of Allergies
There are four main culprits of holiday allergy triggers: food, mold, pets and dust mites.
The holiday season would not be complete without eating anything and everything put in front of you. While those with food allergies are usually careful about what they consume, a lot of what is eaten during the holidays is made in someone else’s kitchen.
Even though there will be no potlucks at work or holiday parties this year, you still have a chance of accidentally eating something you are allergic to.
Mold spores thrive in damp evergreens, which are brought inside your home in the form of Christmas trees and holiday wreaths. In addition to the increase in mold and mildew in those piles of leaves you are putting off raking into a bag, your immune system is in overdrive this time of year.
With temperatures this time of year sinking, many outdoor pets are beginning to spend more and more time indoors. While inside, they are spreading their dander, saliva and urine around your home in your rugs, quilts and blankets.
Dust Mite Allergy
Tis the season to drag the box of decorations from the basement to go through and place around your home. Since these trinkets have not been touched in almost a year, you risk exposing yourself to large amounts of dust and the mites it attracts.
How to Prevent Holiday Allergies
- Swap the real greenery for artificial decorations or hose down your tree before bringing it inside
- Know what foods you are allergic to so you can avoid them and let others know about your allergy
- Remove carpeting and wash your blankets to reduce pet dander
- Change out your air filter frequently and wash all bedding in hot water to kill dust mites
To learn more about preventing allergies this time of year or to schedule an appointment with an experienced allergist, contact Carolina Ear, Nose, Throat, Sinus & Allergy today.