The new Christmas tree, candles and holly may look nice, but if you have asthma, it could trigger an attack.
Sparrow Hospital health specialists say what's going around are holiday asthma triggers. Dust, mold, and pollen can form on a natural tree, as well as the artificial tree that's been stored all year. Food allergies which are common during the holidays can also trigger an asthma attack, so if you know you have asthma, there are some preventative measures to take.
"People with persistent asthma should follow a maintenance program from their asthma which includes anti-inflammatories or an inhaled steroid," said Dr. Larry Rawsthorne.
In addition to a maintenance program, consult your doctor if you should increase your dosage during the holiday season.
wilx.com Extended Web Coverage
Indoor Allergies (Perennial)
Molds, dust mites, cockroach droppings, house dust, which carries pet dander, and other indoor substances, can trigger bouts of sneezing, runny nose, and congestion at any time. That's why this type of allergy is called "perennial" (year-round).
Perennial allergies don't come and go with the plant seasons like seasonal allergies do. Since these triggers are indoors instead of outdoors, you may not be able to avoid them. Therefore, you may need ongoing treatment to control perennial allergies.
There are thousands of types of molds, but only a few types trigger allergic reactions. Indoors, molds thrive in dark, damp places such as closets, basements, bathrooms (especially shower stalls), houseplants, air conditioners, mattresses, upholstered furniture, and old foam rubber pillows. Millions of microscopic mold spores can become airborne and enter the nasal lining easily when they are inhaled.
Reduce mold exposure:
Tiny dust mites can be found anywhere house dust tends to collect, especially bedding, upholstered furniture, and carpets. Their waste products, when inhaled, can trigger an allergic reaction.
Dust mites generally thrive in the summer and die in the winter. They can survive all year long in warm and humid homes. To decrease exposure to dust mites:
Cockroaches often live and die out of sight in urban homes. Their eggs and waste products, as well as the powdery residue of their decomposing bodies, can trigger allergies.
To avoid exposure to cockroach allergens:
Cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits, and other family pets may be great additions to the family, but they can also be a source of misery for allergy sufferers. Inhaling house dust that contains proteins from the animal's dander, saliva, and urine can trigger an allergic reaction. Urine from gerbils, mice, rats, and birds can also cause allergy symptoms. To avoid allergy problems from your pet:
Source: http://www.aaaai.org/nab/indoor_allergies.stm (The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology Web site) contributed to this report.