By Dr. Reid Johnstone
Allergy Partners of the Upstate
As I was recently reading one of Brandon Webb’s books regarding his life as a Navy seal, it struck me that many of the life lessons he had learned and mastered applied to our allergy patients and particularly the upcoming holiday season. In his training, he was taught to prepare and anticipate almost any imaginable scenario that might happen in his missions. In the upcoming Holiday seasons, it is just as important to plan and anticipate for all conditions. This applies whether you suffer from nasal allergies, asthma, food allergies, allergic contact dermatitis or even non-allergic vasomotor rhinitis.
The Holidays are alive with travels to the homes of friends and family along with exposures to a multitude of tastes and smell associated with new foods, fragrances and even the family pet. Knowing what triggers each individual’s symptoms, be it fragrances of the season or Aunt Gertrude’s fluffy cat, anticipating the potential exposures and symptoms will make for a healthier and happier Holiday season. This is a time to be at the top of your game with compliance with medications to reduce daily symptoms and ensure reduced inflammation and irritability of the airways. It is just as important to make sure you have adequate supplies of your daily medications and that any rescue medications s are up to date and on hand for acute use. Inquiring with host families of potential hurdles including food sensitivities and potential new additions of family pets will allow anticipation of potential medication needs as well as allow the formulation of a contingency plan for any flares. This might alter your plans for how long you may stay, where you might stay or potentially if you might go at all depending of the severity of the historical response. In this way, you will be able to maintain a healthy state and hopefully prevent any bothersome symptoms or acute care visits for medical attention.
Good luck and happy Holidays.