Five Tips for Keeping Winter Holidays Happy and Healthy

Enjoy the Christmas Holiday Without the Hassles of Asthma and Allergies

The Christmas holidays are just around the corner and many are looking forward to the most “the most wonderful time of the year.” However, allergy and asthma flares are common during the winter holidays. To maximize the holiday fun without allergies flaring up, an allergist from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) shared important tips to make the yuletide season happy and healthy.

According to Bradley Chipps, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), people should understand that asthma symptoms can crop up when you least expect them.

Chipps said, “If you keep in mind some simple tips, you can prepare yourself – and your nose and eyes – for allergy symptoms that may crop up during the holidays.”

So as not to spoil the winter fun during the Christmas season, Dr Chipps shared these five helpful tips!

1. Holiday season means flu season – Winter is here and with this comes flu season. In fact, from October through March, many people get and give the flu. That is why it is very important to get seasonal flu shots. But flu can be prevented also by regular hand washing habits.

2. When a bit of the bubbly leaves you feeling poorly – For those who are prone to allergy flareups especially after drinking red wine and alcohol, it is advisable to avoid these tempting drinks. Intolerance to alcohol can trigger a stuffy nose, headache and/or flushed skin. These symptoms could spoil the holiday fun and one may end up in bed. Nobody wants to stay in bed and sulking while others have the energy to enjoy the Christmas holidays.

3. Button up your overcoat – Frolicking in the snow in freezing temperature might not be a good idea for those who have asthma and allergies. Winter activities like sledding, skating and building snowmen are quite inviting. But nobody said you can’t go out and have fun. If you have asthma, know that very cold, dry air might trigger symptoms. If spending time outside, cover mouth and nose with a scarf or face mask – especially if exercising. If the temps are below freezing, consider moving exercise routines inside.

4. What’s in that fruitcake? – If winter holidays mean gathering at family and friends, know that there might be foods to which family members could be allergic. It’s important to know what your food allergies are, as well as those of family members, and to alert hosts to potential problem foods. Bring a dish (or dishes) to share that are safe for you, and for hosts, consider letting guests know what is in the dishes.

5. Oh (ah ah choo!) Christmas tree – Christmas would not be complete without Christmas trees, either live trees or artificial. But be careful with these Christmas trees for both can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms. Some live trees still have mold spores and pollen on them, which when carried into the house can cause nasal allergies to flare. Take time to rinse off live trees before bringing them inside. For artificial trees and decorations used every year, they can accumulate dust and mold. Clean them before using them again this year.

Five Tips for Keeping Winter Holidays Happy and Healthy 1
A woman playing with snow.

Anyone who suffers from allergies or asthma should see a board-certified allergist. Allergists are trained to diagnose and treat these symptoms, and to create an individual action plan. To find an allergist in your area, use the ACAAI allergist locator tool.

Mina Fabulous
Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn't preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.