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During the holidays, the best gift of all for allergy sufferers, could be a break from breathing problems.
Scented air fresheners, dust-coated boxes from stored decorations, fresh trees and live flowers and plants could cause respiratory symptoms, said Dr. Joseph Leija of Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Illinois. In a Loyola University Health System press release, Leija shares these tips for keeping your home allergy free this season:
• Get rid of home fragrance oils and scented candles. Scented devices that plug into the wall and pots of potpourri were not meant for people who have allergies. "Far from creating an inviting home, the fragrance aggravates the sinuses and respiratory system so sufferers can't breathe," Leija noted.
• Check your home's humidity. Humidifiers do help keep your house from getting too dry during the winter, but Leija advises getting "a gauge and keeping the humidity no higher than 48 to 50 percent." He says "too much humidity encourages the growth of mold, which triggers allergic reactions."
• Avoid fresh flowers and poinsettias. Leija says inhaling mold spores found in moist soil can cause skin rashes and restrict passageways.
• Pick an artificial tree. Real trees smell wonderful, but may spawn mites and dust and aggravate breathing problems. "The water in the tree holder also grows stagnant and collects mold, which is detrimental to those with allergies," Leija said in the news release.
• Choose plastic over cardboard boxes to store your decorations to help eliminate dust build up and make sure to dust containers off throughout the year.
Loyola University Health System news release