It's time to enjoy summer celebrations, but allergies and asthma can put a damper on the festivities.
They don't need to. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) offers some tips for keeping them in check.
"The 4th of July is a favorite holiday for many Americans because it's in the middle of summer and folks can enjoy lovely weather with their festivities," said allergist Dr. Mark Corbett, president of ACAAI. "But that doesn't mean allergy and asthma symptoms won't flare. Those with asthma need to be cautious at events where smoke will be featured. Smoke in any form -- from fireworks, bonfires, or campfires -- should be on the list of things to bypass."
If your celebrations will be outdoors and you have grass or pollen allergies, take your medicines well before the event, the ACAAI suggests. Those medications will need time to work. If you have asthma, stay consistent with both your quick relief and long-term control meds.
Sudden changes in temperature can trigger an asthma attack, including going into an air-conditioned space from the heat or jumping into cold water. In cases of extreme heat or humid, high pollen days, stay inside as much as possible, the ACAAI suggests. You might also consider indoor exercise, if possible.
Watch out for food allergies at picnics and barbecues. Ask guests to label their dishes or consider leaving out common allergens. Label any food you're sharing at a potluck, so others can be aware of allergens.
Lone Star Tick bites can make you allergic to red meats. If you suspect this has happened to you, talk to an allergist. Meat from any mammal - beef, lamb, pork, goat, and even whale and seal - can cause an allergic reaction.
While chlorine isn't an allergen, it can be irritating, causing eye and nose itching. It can also cause some people with asthma to have trouble breathing. Washing the affected skin area with clean water typically removes the irritant. A doctor can prescribe a corticosteroid cream if needed.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has more on seasonal allergies.
SOURCE: American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, news release, June 23, 2022