1. Say no to indoor scented products, such as powerful air fresheners, potpourri, scented candles (soybean based may be better, if used with proper ventilation).
2. Decorations that are brought out from last year may have accumulated dust, mildew and the like and wipe them down, if washable to avoid spreading airborne irritants and allergens.
3. Don’t turn your home in to a greenhouse. Measure the indoor humidity level with a hygrometer and keep it less than 45-50% to prevent mildew and activating indoor allergies.
4. Christmas trees, both natural and artificial may cause irritated eyes, nasal passages and cough as a result of strong aromas, molds as well as chemicals used in storage. Try and open a window and improve indoor ventilation. You may need to consult with an allergist for proper advice, especially if allergy testing and/or treatment is required for symptom-free holidays.
5. Pet allergies peak in the fall and winter as there are a build up of pet allergens in the air, and due to closed windows and reduced ventilation. HEPA air filters may help to reduce floating cat and dog allergen particles and provide relief. Learn more about longer term allergy solution strategies.
6. Wood burning stoves and indoor fireplaces may aggravate nasal, sinus and respiratory allergies and conditions due to the irritating effects of wood smoke and the like.
7. Consider a de-humidifier for below ground rooms, basements where mildew can become a problem and be associated with allergy, sinus and respiratory symptoms.
8. Consider fragrance free when choosing a detergent, fabric softener as well as personal fragrance products, if you have skin allergies and sensitive skin.
9. It is not just a box of chocolate. If you have significant allergic reactions to foods such as nuts, peanuts, etc learn to read a package label and ensure the food item does not contain prohibited or restricted food allergens. If prescribed, always carry an epinephrine auto injector for life-threatening food allergic reactions.
10. Finally, yes you can be intolerant or even allergic to alcohol, such as wine and spirits. In some cases it may be an intolerance to gluten or sulfates present within, in others they may experience “flushing” after drinking. Get evaluated to reduce risk and unpleasant symptoms.