‘Tis the season of indoor allergies! Unfortunately, nearly 60 million Americans suffer from year-round allergies with indoor allergies spiking around the holidays. These allergic symptoms result from a wide array of triggers including decorations, food, and even added stress.
Trees, wreaths, and artificial holiday decorations can all increase allergy symptoms. Trees and wreaths are often filled with mold spores and terpene, which is found in the sap. To reduce the amount of mold spores and pollen, spray the tree with water and let it sit outside the home for a few days before bringing it inside to decorate. Artificial decorations may be a better alternative to combat these allergies, however, be careful to clean off the dust that might collect on holiday décor while in storage.
Food plays a special role in many households during the holiday season. The most common food allergies include milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat. Many of these are common ingredients in holiday cooking. To avoid any accidental food allergy exposures, contact your host ahead of time to gently communicate any allergy concerns or offer to bring your own allergy friendly holiday dish. If there are any children with food allergies, have a game plan for supervision and go over any “rules” with your children before holiday parties. In case there is an accidental exposure, always be sure to carry an epinephrine pen.
Finally, be proactive by taking care of yourself. Medicate before symptoms spike, and keep your immune system strong by getting enough sleep, eating healthy and keeping stress to a minimum. This is often easier said than done throughout the busy holiday season.One way to combat stress is to take time for yourself through activities such as meditation, massage, or yoga which is proven to have positive psychological health benefits while also strengthening your immune system.
If allergies continue to overwhelm you, find a doctor who provides custom sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). Custom SLIT treats the root cause of your allergies based on your individual allergic fingerprint – only those allergens you’re sensitive to, and at the specific level of your sensitivity to minimize reactions. Treatment can help give you peace of mind around the holidays, and improve your quality of life throughout the rest of the year. Learn more about the custom Protocol Allergychoices advocates for, the La Crosse Method, so you can focus on all of the good things the holiday season brings.