Winter & Christmas Allergies

Winter & Christmas Allergies

Winter and Christmas allergies are equally or worse, than other seasonal allergies. During winter season, air circulation in homes, limited by doors, and windows closed, preventing cold air, from entering. Un-circulated air, allergens built up or breeding ground, for many allergies, especially in energy efficient homes, and homes being renovated, preventing cold air. In some homes, raising the thermostat, using furnaces or stoves to keep warm, triggers more allergic reaction, for many people. In winter season, people spend more time indoors, exposed frequently to mold, dust mites, Christmas trees, and pets, which may cause, an allergic reaction. Mold growth can be slowed down, by keeping humidity below 40 percent, using a dehumidifier. Also, cleaning frequently, bathrooms and kitchen, with solutions, prevents mold from growing. As temperatures fall, those allergic to pollen, and ragweed, suffer.

Decorated Christmas trees look beautiful, but cause many allergies. Live Christmas trees and ornaments, sometimes carry dust. Many people are allergic to dust. The problem becomes noticeable by sneezing, when unpacking decorations, been stored away, during the year. Best solution, store away decorations, in a dry area and sealed in plastic bags or containers. Potentially, Artificial trees accumulate mold or dust, because of improper storage. Recommend, before assembling an artificial tree, clean outside artificial tree, with a wash cloth or apply a cleaning solution, will dispose of any accumulated mold and dust. Preventive solution: Store artificial trees in a sealed plastic bag, preventing any dust or moisture. Often, live trees are cut months before being sold. These trees are exposed to rain, and slush, breeds mold on the barks. Mold can cause allergies, and harmful to anyone, has asthma. The tree SAP or resin, and pollen attached to the branches and needles, sources of allergic reactions, especially in poor ventilated areas. Preventing these allergies, using commercial sprays, such as fungicide or spraying down the tree outside, with water, before decorating. However, chemically treated trees, may cause allergic reactions, in some people. The best type of Christmas tree for allergy suffers, is organically grown. Organic grown Christmas trees not exposed, any chemical fertilizer insecticides or pesticide. The only certified organic Christmas trees are sold, at Texas Organic Nursery and Christmas Tree Farm, which is located in Mexia. Further information, call: 254 – 562 – 6306.

Delicious foods, pastries, and cakes are served during Christmas. However, many contain ingredients, harmful to those suffering allergies. Allergens can be hidden in eggnog, fruitcakes, dips, quiches, dried fruit, baked goods, salads, seafood, and salad dressings. Anyone, allergic to peanuts or nuts, beware ingredient, added to many types of deserts or meals. Signs of food allergies are itchy, red, swollen area of the skin, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, swelling in the mouth, and airway. This can lead to low blood pressure, attributing severe health problems. Also, cross food contamination, equally serious. Opening storage containers, cookie jars or bags, previously stored an ingredient or food, causing an allergic reaction. Injecting epinephrine helps treat food allergies. Preventing life threatening reactions. For more information, call Food Allergy Network: 1- 800 – 929 – 4040 or visit their website:

Forty million Americans suffer dog and cat allergies. Condition is worse, during winter months, when dogs and cats, spend more time indoors. Dander (Tiny scales shed from animal skin) and hair accumulates, more frequently, during winter season. Keep pets confined to one area of the home or “allergy free” zone, limiting allergic reaction. During Christmas holiday, visiting family, friends, and relatives, have pets at home, triggers this allergy. Before, giving a pet Christmas gift, make sure the person and occupants of the home, not allergic. Bathing pets, once a week reduce allergens on furs, as much as 84 percent. Less affective, using sprays, which combat pet allergies.

According to American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), winter climate change to chilly temperatures, may cause a cold allergic induced reaction, referred: Urticaria (Also, known: Nettle – Rash, hives or wheals). Causing hives, as temperatures rapidly change, either up or down. Hives are pale, and form red swellings in groups, on the skin, itch, burn and stings. Also, allergic reaction to foods, medicine, stress, infection and insect bites cause urticaria. This uncomfortable condition, lasts for seconds to hours, on the body. After the condition subsides, leaves behind no trace. Urticaria affects, fifteen – twenty percent of the population. Prescribed antihistamines, alleviate symptoms.

Additional, allergies and remedies during Christmas or holiday season:

Some people are allergic to fragrance, scented candles or potpourri. Alternative solutions: making homemade potpourri with vanilla, cinnamon or peppermint flavoring. Families, friends, neighbors gather together, during holiday season, should prohibit smoking indoors, preventing those allergic to tobacco smoke, and preventing, hazards of second hand smoke. Install and use exhaust fans in kitchens, and bathrooms, sanitizes the air. During winter months, often replace, furnace filters. Carpets should be vacuumed or cleaned, preventing dust mites or allergens. Paper and newspapers should not be used, for wrapping decorations. May contain paper mites, causing allergic reaction, including skin rashes. Take precautionary steps, spraying artificial snow on windows, or other surfaces, may attribute, an allergic reaction, for breathing or lungs. Never store wood inside a home, for a fireplace. Bark of the wood, could accumulate mold, may cause allergic reaction. Fire wood brought into the home, should be used immediately. Taking allergy medications, including antihistamines, help treat symptoms of allergies, during the year. Using ionic air purifiers, produce ionic breeze of negative ions, removes pollen, dirt, mold, and allergens.

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