Lots of holiday favorites can trigger or irritate your allergies. And while you may manage allergy symptoms pretty well most of the year, symptoms of indoor allergens like these can really spike during the holiday season. Indoor allergies become worse in the winter because you are in a closed-up house with the heater on and the windows are shut.
You can do a lot to alleviate holiday allergies, but first you need to know what’s triggering your symptoms to begin with. Some common holiday allergy triggers include:
- Food. Winter holidays mean lots of dining away from home, plenty of seasonal foods, and an abundance of parties — all of which heighten the chances you’ll accidentally eat — or be outright tempted by — foods you’re allergic to.
- Mold. It’s invisible to the naked eye, it floats in the air like pollen, and your exposure to it may increase during the holidays because mold spores love damp evergreens like the wreaths and trees we bring inside this time of year. The mold and mildew in decaying leaves only adds to the irritation as we track them inside on shoes and clothes.
- Pets. Your pets probably enjoy the seasonal socializing as much as you do. That’s one reason symptoms to pet allergies can worsen around the holidays; pets are indoors more, both at your house and in the homes of friends and family.
- Dust mites. These microscopic allergens are a perennial allergy irritant and they can be even more aggravating around the holidays when the air gets damp and we spend time in hotel rooms and in other people’s beds.