Have an Allergy-Free Holiday and a Happier New
SATURDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- For allergy sufferers at
holiday time, the best gift of all may be relief from respiratory
symptoms, an expert suggests.
Dust from boxes of stored decorations, fresh trees, scented air
fresheners, live plants and more can cause all sorts of breathing
problems, according to allergist Dr. Joseph Leija, of Gottlieb
Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park, Ill. In a news release from
Loyola University Health System, he explained that there are ways
to avoid decking your halls with sniffles and wheezes.
Leija offers the following tips for keeping your home
allergy-free during this festive season:
- Invest in an artificial tree. Real pine trees may smell
delightful, but their scents can aggravate breathing problems and
the plants may spawn dust and mites. "The water in the tree holder
also grows stagnant and collects mold, which is detrimental to
those with allergies," Leija said in the news release.
- Dump the scented candles and home fragrance oils. Those
simmering pots of potpourri and scented devices that plug into the
wall are not meant for those with allergies. "Far from creating an
inviting home, the fragrance aggravates the sinuses and respiratory
system so sufferers can't breathe," Leija noted.
- Stay away from real poinsettias and fresh flowers. "The moist
soil encourages the growth of mold. And if there is mold in your
house, you are breathing mold spores," Leija said. Mold spores can
restrict air passageways and cause skin rashes.
- Keep an eye on the level of humidity in your home. It's fine to
use humidifiers to keep your house from getting too dry during the
winter, but "get a gauge and keep the humidity no higher than 48 to
50 percent," Leija advised. "Too much humidity encourages the
growth of mold, which triggers allergic reactions."
- When the holiday season is over, store decorations in large
plastic containers instead of cardboard boxes. That will help
eliminate dust buildup on your treasured items. Just make sure to
dust the containers off during the year.
Learn more about
allergies from the American Academy of Family
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