The holidays are here! It’s the season for rockin’ holiday parties, savory meals, decadent sweets, finding (or receiving!) that perfect gift, and most importantly, cherishing the time we spend with family and friends. While many of us look forward to the holidays with sparks in our eyes, others—namely the estimated 50 million Americans who suffer from allergies—aren’t always so keen.
Too often, the family Christmas tree, a beacon of holiday light and memories, quickly becomes your sneeze-inducing enemy. Your Aunt’s traditional walnut-sprinkled fruitcake has you racing in the other direction. And while all those scented candles add a wonderful fireside ambiance to any space, for you, they’re a stifling headache and a case of the sniffles waiting to happen.
With so many potential allergy triggers stacking up around you, it can be tough to share in the excitement of the season. To help you avoid the wrath of this season’s allergy traps, start with these helpful tips:
- “Treat” Your Tree (or Go Artificial) – To some, it’s not Christmas without a beautiful Douglas fir glowing in the living room—even if that means suffering through pollen allergies. If this is the case, be sure to “treat” your tree, ideally before bringing it inside your home. The Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America recommends using a leaf blower outdoors to remove visible pollen particles from your tree as well as wiping down the trunk thoroughly with a bleach and water solution to combat mold. If your holiday is just as special without a real tree, choose an artificial variety.
- Clean the Air – Scented candles and seasonal air fresheners are notorious symptom triggers. When you can’t avoid these elements, try cleaning your air with a HEPA air purifier. Full-size room air purifiers such as the Whirlpool Whispure 510 Air Purifier do wonders to remove even the smallest airborne allergens and particles from your space. If you’re traveling, try the suitcase-size Germ Guardian Pluggable UV-C Air Sanitizer for on-the-go air purification.
- Bring Your Own Bedding – Hotel beds and guest beds that aren’t used frequently are often home to symptom-aggravating dust mites. If you suffer from a dust mite allergy and you’ll be traveling for the holidays, consider bringing along your own allergy bedding and dust mite covers to boost your comfort and stave off symptoms.
- Invest in an Electric Fireplace – Just as candles and fragrance sprays can send allergy irritants into your air, so can a traditional wood-burning fireplace. As an allergy-friendly alternative, consider using an electric fireplace or electric stove to heat your space and add to that cozy ambiance so many of us love. If this isn’t an option, use an air purifier to combat particles and soot from the flames.
To get more helpful tips for avoiding holiday allergy triggers, check out these great articles:
- Holiday Allergies – Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
- Avoiding Holiday Asthma and Allergy Triggers – American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
- Allergies During the Holidays – WebMD
On behalf of everyone here at Sylvane, we wish you a happy, healthy, and allergy-free holiday!