December 22, 2011
LIVELINES: ALLERGY CALLS
The holidays are chock full of things that can make life miserable for allergy sufferers. But what would the holidays be without trees, winter decorations or the sweet treats of the season?
Allergist Doctor Marc Cromie from Chattanooga Allergy Clinic was our guest this morning.
Here are some of the most common triggers to be on the lookout for:
• Does your Christmas tree make you sneeze or cause shortness of breath? It's unlikely that you are allergic to the tree itself, but the fragrance may be irritating. Some trees may also be home to microscopic mold spores that trigger asthma or allergies, causing symptoms like sneezing or an itchy nose. Use an artificial tree or, if you must have the real thing, let the tree dry in a garage or enclosed porch for a week and give it a good shake prior to bringing it inside.
• Follow directions carefully when spraying artificial snow or flocking. Inhaling these sprays can irritate your lungs and trigger asthma symptoms.
• If you leave your pet behind when traveling for the holidays, you may experience allergy or asthma symptoms on your return home. Dubbed the "Thanksgiving Effect" this phenomenon occurs when a person loses tolerance to her own pet after being away for a few days.
• Be aware that stress can lead to asthma attacks. Chemicals released by the body during stressful times can cause the muscles around your airways to tighten, making it difficult to breathe.