Holiday Visits – Keeping Control of Allergens

By Heather Legg

It’s that time of year – over the river and through the woods….

The holidays are an interesting mix of fun and stress, and it’s a fine balance to have more of the first than the second! Whereas holiday visits can be a lot of fun, they can also be stressful and when the home you are visiting is full of an allergen that makes you feel horrible, the stress can rise. So what can you do when it’s not your house?

If it’s pets you’re allergic to, it’s tough to go and stay with someone who has a pet. You can’t spend your holiday sniffing and sneezing, but what can you do?  Be sure to pack your medication for one, so you can at least be ready for the onslaught. You may choose to stay in a hotel as well, if you know the house is intolerable to you. Another option is to let the family know you are allergic to the pet and ask that the animal not be allowed at least in your bedroom.

Take the same consideration if you have pets and visitors with allergies. Don’t be insulted if they opt for a hotel room. If they are staying with you, do a thorough cleaning beforehand, change the bedding and keep the dog or cat out of their bedroom.

If you are traveling and have dust mite allergies, you may want to bring your own hypoallergenic pillows or at least pillow cases. Again, bring your medication with you. If you have sensitive skin and eczema, bring your own shampoos and soap, don’t risk using something drying that may make your condition flare.

Again, if you have visitors coming, especially those with allergies, be understanding if they don’t want to use your fragrant guest soap or if they ask if you’ve recently washed the bedding. Also, go easy on home fragrances, like candles and air fresheners.

If you are the guest or the hose, try to be as low stress as you can, make things easy and don’t worry too much. Whereas stress doesn’t cause allergies, it can aggravate them. Do what you can on either end to make it easier, and communicate. Ask your guests about their needs, let your host know what you’re allergic to. Any good host would want to do what they can on the preventative side.

Then enjoy your visit and the holidays!

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