40 THE QUEENS COURIER • WELLNESS • DECEMBER 19, 2019 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Five hidden holiday allergy triggers to avoid
Th e holidays are a time to gather
for food, friends and festivities. While
everything may seem merry and bright,
if you have asthma or allergies, this is
when you need to be cautious. A season
full of tradition and good cheer
can come with hidden allergy triggers if
you’re not aware and prepared.
Th e experts at the American College
of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
share the most common hidden holiday
allergies you should be aware of:
1. Candles and fi res: Although many
people light candles to enhance the holiday
atmosphere, scented candles can
quickly trigger allergy and asthma symptoms,
including headaches, watery eyes
and aggravated noses. Wood-burning
fi replaces, while stunning during the
holidays, are also a trigger due to smoke.
Consider fl ameless candles and an electric
fi replace, which have the calming
appearance, but no scent or smoke to
make you cough or wheeze.
2. Trees and wreaths: Fresh fi r trees
and wreaths are beautiful, but some people
have contact skin allergies to a substance
called terpene, found in the sap of
trees. What’s more, some live trees still
have mold spores and pollen on them,
which can cause nasal allergies to fl are.
Take time to rinse off live trees before
you bring them in. If you have an artifi
cial tree and decorations that you use
every year, clean them to remove dust
and potential mold.
3. Hugs and kisses: You enjoy seeing
your friends and relatives during the
holidays, but you may want to reconsider
all the hugs and kisses, which can
easily spread germs. Flu shots are available
now, and it’s not too late to get
yours. If you have asthma, it’s particularly
important to wash your hands thoroughly
and regularly. If you have an egg
allergy you may have been told in the
past not to get the fl u shot. But years of
studies have shown the vaccine is safe
and does not contain enough egg protein
to cause an allergic reaction, even in
people with severe egg allergy.
4. Eats and treats: Holidays are a time
to gather to enjoy delicious meals and
tasty treats. If you have food allergies,
be vigilant about knowing what’s inside
each item. Some people are sensitive to
even trace amounts of certain foods,
and this can be particularly concerning
for baked goods prepared in commercial
kitchens. Always ask before you eat
something new and be an advocate for
your children if they suff er from allergies.
When in doubt, if you have food
allergies, it’s best to turn down a holiday
treat with unknown ingredients.
5. Dust and dander: If you are allergic
to indoor allergens like dust, mold and
dander, you probably diligently clean
your home. But that doesn’t mean the
host of the party you’re attending does
the same. Many of these triggers are
invisible, so even a home that appears
clean can cause that dreaded runny
nose, sneezing and itchy eyes for allergy
suff erers. If you’re attending a party or
traveling to see friends, consider packing
allergy medicine just in case you
start to feel symptoms from triggers tugging
at your good time.
Before your social calendar fi lls up,
consider hosting a holiday event yourself.
Even though entertaining takes
work, it adds a level of control so you
don’t have to worry about allergy concerns.
You get to cook with foods your
family can safely eat and decorate
with fl ameless candles and other allergy
friendly decor. Plus, you know your
house is free of Fido’s fur or hidden
dust bunnies. If people off er to bring
food, make sure they know of any allergy
concerns. Or consider putting them
in charge of other items, such as holiday
napkins or paper plates.
Have questions about an existing or
potential allergy for you or a loved one?
Allergists are the best trained medical
professionals to treat allergies and asthma,
and can help you live the life you
want. So if you need guidance on treating
your symptoms, use the allergist
locator at acaai.org/locate-an-allergist to
fi nd an allergist in your area.