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Battling Allergies and Asthma during the Holidays

Author: Kate H. Gamble, Senior Editor

For the millions of Americans who suffer from allergies and asthma, celebrating the holidays is no walk in the park. From fresh trees and plants to scented candles to desserts containing nuts, triggers are everywhere, and managing them can be tricky.

“During the holiday season you’re going to be exposed to allergens,” said Myron Zitt, MD, an allergist and past president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). “Be aware of where the problems lie so you can deal with them.”

Experts from the ACAAI as well as a number of organizations are providing tips to help allergy and asthma sufferers navigate the land mines that await them at parties, in the mall, and even in their own homes this holiday season: Because health issues persist long after the holidays, below is a list of tips to make all winter months more bearable for individuals with allergies: “The cold season can be especially difficult for those who suffer from a combination of indoor allergies and asthma,” said Elizabeth Leef Jacobson, MD, of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. “During the winter, families spend more time indoors, exposing them to irritants like dust mites, pet dander, smoke, household sprays and chemicals, and gas fumes-any of which can make their lives miserable.”

In addition to following the steps provided above, individuals with allergies are encouraged to contact their family physician or allergist for proper evaluation and treatment.

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