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Allergies & Asthma: Keep Sneezes & Wheezes at Bay This Holiday Season

It's possible to have a joy-filled holiday season while keeping allergies and asthma in check.

Being aware of triggers is a key, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

“While the holidays bring much joy, some of the good times can be derailed by allergy and asthma flares,” said allergist

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • November 26, 2022
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  • Full Page
  • Liability Fears Keep Some Schools From Stocking Asthma Inhalers

    It's a potentially deadly issue: Some U.S. school administrators don't keep life-saving albuterol asthma inhalers on hand because they're afraid of getting sued for misuse. That's true even in states like Illinois, where strong "stock albuterol" laws are on the books, researchers say.

    Kids with asthma don't always carry their inhalers, and some may not even know they have asthma until the...

    The Worst and Best Hours of the Day for Hayfever Sufferers

    When it comes to pollen allergies, there are not only bad days and bad seasons, experts with the right technology can now break down pollen counts by the hour.

    Specifically, pollen counts are lower between 4 a.m. and noon, a new study done in Georgia found. They're higher between 2 p.m. and 9 p...

    Your Smartphone Is a Haven for Allergens

    That smartphone in your hand could be triggering your allergies, a new study by an 18-year-old high school student suggests.

    A science fair project by Hana Ruran, of Hopkinton, Mass., found that cellphones are often loaded with cat and dog allergens, bacteria and fungi.

    “I have my phone always with me. It's always in my hand. I never put it down for anything,” said study author...

    Get Ready for Those Fall Allergies

    Allergy sufferers know that symptoms don't just appear in spring or summer. Fall, too, can bring about sneezing and trouble breathing, as can volatile weather patterns.

    “People frequently experience allergy symptoms in the fall even if they are mainly allergic to pollens in the spring and summer,” said D...

    After Ian's Destruction: How to Safely Enter, Clean Flood-Damaged Homes

    The devastation left by one of the strongest hurricanes to hit Florida in years is immense. But residents flooded out of their homes by Hurricane Ian must be cautious when they return, federal experts warn.

    First off, always assume there's potential risk from electricity or gas leaks, say experts at the U.S. Cent...

    Looking for Reliable Hay Fever Advice? It's Probably Not on YouTube

    Need information about hay fever? Steer clear of YouTube, a new study advises.

    Researchers found misinformation about allergic rhinitis, the medical name for the disorder, in a large numbers of posts on the popular video-sharing site.

    That's significant, because 7 in 10 patients wi...

    Spring's Double Trouble: Asthma Plus Seasonal Allergies

    If you have both asthma and seasonal allergies, there are ways to reduce the impacts of that double whammy, an expert says.

    People with asthma, a chronic lung condition, should try to control or prevent allergic outbreaks, said Dr. Miranda Curtiss, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School...

    Worsening Allergy Seasons: Is Climate Change to Blame?

    Scientists have long known that as the Earth warms due to climate change, plants produce more pollen, making allergy season longer and more pronounced.

    Now, a new survey finds that hay fever sufferers are increasingly taking notice.

    In a poll of more than 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by the Harris Poll in partnership with HealthDay, only 1 in 3 reported receiving an official...

    As Climate Change Worsens Allergy Season, Tips on How to Cope

    Climate change is prompting longer pollen seasons and higher pollen counts, which spells trouble for people with seasonal allergies, allergists warn.

    "Allergy seasons have been changing in North America and across the globe, and we see greater changes the further you get from the equator," explained Dr. Kara Wada, an allergis...

    Your Houseplants May Help You Breathe Easier

    Want to breathe better air indoors? Go green.

    Houseplants can make your home or office air cleaner, according to British researchers.

    In lab tests, they found that three common houseplants -- peace lily ...

    Allergy Season Is Near: Be Prepared

    Spring allergies are a perennial annoyance, but if you're focusing on the pandemic, they still could catch you by surprise, an expert says.

    "People still have COVID on their minds," said Dr. Mark Corbett, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

    "They might not be thinking about spring allergies, so symptoms could sneak up on them," Corbett said in a coll...

    Rain or Shine, Allergies Are Tough. What's the Link to Weather?

    If you think frequent changes in weather are triggering your allergy symptoms, you may be right.

    A shift from a cold front to a rainy day then back to warm weather can have an impact on those with allergies, said Dr. David Corry, professor of medicine-immunology, allergy and rheumatology at Baylor College of Medicine, in ...

    Make Asthma, Allergy Control Your Resolution for the New Year

    If your New Year's resolution is to keep your allergy and asthma symptoms under control in 2022, it's best to do so in small steps, an expert says.

    "The best way to tackle health challenges is in small bits, and that goes for allergy and asthma control," said Dr. Mark Corbett, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

    "The last few years have been ...

    Keep Your Holidays Allergy-Free This Year

    Planning ahead will reduce the risk of allergies and asthma interfering with your holiday plans, an expert says.

    "In addition to concerns about COVID-19, those with allergies and asthma sometimes have an added layer of anxiety because they need to always be thinking about allergy and asthma triggers that can cause serious symptoms," said Dr. Mark Corbett, president of the American College...

    Mom's Pre-Pregnancy Weight Could Affect Odds for Child's Asthma, Allergies

    Can your weight before pregnancy determine your baby's chances of developing asthma or allergies?

    Yes, claims a study that looked at that question, as well as whether weight gain during pregnancy might have an impact.

    "We did find that there was a link between the mother's weight before pregnancy, entering pregnancy, with the development of certain allergic diseases among c...

    Climate Change May Not Increase Allergies in Kids With Asthma: Study

    While climate change gets a lot of notice for its numerous negative impacts around the globe, children's allergies may not be among them.

    Despite climate change, with the longer growing seasons and larger pollen loads that are attributed to it, more than 5,800 children in the Los Angeles area with asthma did not have an increase in allergic sensitization or allergy diagnosis over a 15-yea...

    Rising Ragweed Levels Mean Fall Allergy Season Is Near

    While some may think of scents like cinnamon or pumpkin spice when the season turns to fall, others are breathing in something much less pleasant.

    Autumn is also allergy season for those sensitive to ragweed.

    "A spike in ragweed tends to mark the informal start of the fall allergy season, which typically begins in mid-August," said Dr. Rachna Shah, an allergist with Loyola Medicine ...

    That Face Mask Is Helping to Shield You From Allergens, Too

    Here's an unexpected benefit from wearing a mask during the pandemic: It may also reduce fall allergy symptoms, one expert says.

    "Masks that people use for protection from COVID-19, particularly those that filter out more particles like the N95 or KN95 masks, also tend to filter out pollen," said Dr. Luz Fonacier, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI)...

    Just How Safe Are Neti Pots?

    When your sinuses are clogged, you will try anything to ease the congestion: neti pots, bulb syringes, squeeze bottles and even battery-operated pulsed water devices.

    But improper use of these nasal irrigation devices can put you at risk for infection, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration expert warns.

    The products, which treat congested sinuses, colds and allergies, are safe and eff...

    Smoggy Air Might Help Spur Sinusitis

    Air pollution could cause sinus misery, new research suggests.

    Specifically, tiny particulate air pollution (known as PM2.5) could contribute to chronic rhinosinusitis, a condition in which the sinuses get infected or irritated, become swollen, are severely congested and secrete mucus into the throat for 12 weeks or more.

    "To our knowledge, this is the first study to report that lon...

    Make Summer Camp Safe for Your Child With Asthma, Allergies

    With many summer camps open again this year, parents of kids with asthma and allergies need to make sure the one they choose is safe for their youngsters.

    While federal health officials have issued guidelines to protect campers and staff from COVID-19, "camps still need to make sure measures are in place in case a camper has an allergic reaction or an asthma flare," said Dr. Luz Fonacier,...

    $340 Million Settlement Proposed in EpiPen Lawsuits

    Pfizer Inc. has agreed to pay $345 million in a proposed settlement to resolve lawsuits over steep EpiPen price increases.

    EpiPens are auto-injectable devices that deliver the drug epinephrine for emergency treatment of a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

    In 2016, a number of class-action lawsuits were filed against Pfizer and its subsidiaries Meridian Medical T...

    Another Pollen Misery: It Might Help Transmit COVID-19

    Pollen is tough enough for allergy sufferers, but a new study suggests it also helps spread the new coronavirus and other airborne germs.

    Researchers had noticed a connection between COVID-19 infection rates and pollen concentrations on the National Allergy Map of the United States.

    That led them to create a computer model of all the pollen-producing parts of a willow tree. They the...

    More Than Half of People With Asthma Aren't Seeing a Specialist

    Among Americans with severe asthma, less than half see a specialist to manage their condition, new research shows.

    The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends patients with severe asthma be referred to a specialist for evaluation and care.

    To find out how many people with severe asthma see a specialist, researchers examined insurance data from more than 54,000 pati...

    Allergy Treatment Crucial If Your Child Has Asthma

    If your child has both allergies and asthma, it's imperative to treat their allergies to prevent asthma from worsening as they spend more time outdoors, an expert says.

    "It's a time when after a winter when we're all cooped up inside kids want to go out and play, but the weather is a little variable," said Dr. Corey Martin, a pediatric pulmonologist at Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's...

    Is It COVID-19 or Seasonal Allergies?

    You suddenly develop the sniffles. Is it allergies or COVID-19?

    One expert says whether you have a history of allergies might provide your biggest clue.

    "Symptoms such as congestion, sore throat and loss of smell are all common with both seasonal allergies and COVID-19," said Dr. Jonathan Matz, an allergist and immunologist with LifeBridge Health, in Maryland.

    "We're not getti...

    New Drug Shows Promise Against Tough-to-Manage Asthma

    An experimental injectable drug appears more versatile than existing medications in treating people with different forms of severe, hard-to-control asthma, clinical trial results show.

    There are many different types of asthma brought on by many different triggers, and a number of monoclonal antibody medications -- called "biologics" -- have been crafted to target distinct asthma triggers....

    How Summer Camps Can Shield Your Kids from Allergies, Asthma & COVID

    As kids get ready for summer camp, parents might be fretting about exposure to COVID-19, but a doctors' group says they also need to make sure their campers will be protected from allergy and asthma triggers.

    "The [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] has issued guidelines for keeping campers and staff protected from COVID-19. At the same time, camps still need to make sure measur...

    Could Chronic Sinusitis Affect Brain Health?

    As if the headaches and stuffy nose aren't bad enough, chronic sinus trouble often leaves patients foggy-headed and depressed. Now, new research suggests one possible reason why: Sinusitis may trigger changes in brain activity.

    "Chronic sinusitis is incredibly common," said study lead author Dr. Aria Jafari. Upwards of 11% of all Americans are affected, added Jafari, an assistant profess...

    Is It Allergies or COVID? Expert Shows How to Tell the Difference

    Seasonal allergies are striking this year at the worst possible time, with the United States in the midst of a fourth wave of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

    You've got an itchy nose and watery eyes. Or maybe you've got a fever and a sore throat. Or you've developed a cough and you have trouble breathing.

    Is it COVID-19, or just your usual allergies?

    Confusion is perfectly under...

    Warmer Climate, More Pollen, Worse Allergies: How to Fight Back

    Climate change has made North America's pollen season longer and more severe, but there are ways to reduce your allergy misery, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

    The best way to deal with worsening pollen seasons is to get ahead of them.

    "If you know it's likely that your allergy symptoms will arrive earlier in the spring or fall seaso...

    Your Mask Might Also Shield You From Allergies

    Here's a silver lining to having to strap a mask across your face when you go out in public: That mask may also help guard against severe spring allergies, an expert says.

    Many patients with spring allergies are doing well this season because they're spending more time indoors and wearing a mask when they go outside, said Dr. Do-Yeon Cho, an associate professor of otolaryngology at the Un...

    FDA Clamping Down on Abuse of an OTC  Decongestant

    Makers of inhalers that contain the nasal decongestant propylhexedrine should make design changes to prevent misuse, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

    Propylhexedrine is a nasal decongestant in over-the-counter inhalers, and right now is "only marketed under the brand name Benzedrex," the FDA said. The agency said that propylhexedrine is effective and safe when used for short pe...

    Spring Cleaning Can Sweep Away Allergens From Your Home

    If seasonal allergies get you down, try tackling them with a good spring cleaning.

    This can not only ease some of those spring symptoms, but also get rid of allergens you've been living with for a while, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

    "If you aren't someone who regularly undertakes spring cleaning, consider tackling it this year," said D...

    Pollen Peril: Sneezin' Season May Up COVID Risk

    It's that time of year when flowers and trees bloom freely and pollen makes the lives of many miserable. But new research reveals a hidden risk: It could also make you more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection.

    COVID-19 infection rates waxed and waned with pollen counts in 2020, according to tracking data gathered across 31 countries in every corner of the globe.

    "Airborne pollen can pa...

    Spring Allergies Are Near, Here's What Works to Fight Them

    For millions of Americans, sneezing, coughing, runny noses, itchy eyes and congestion are sure signs that spring is on the way.

    The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) has advice for coping with these classic hay fever symptoms. It recently published a guideline for health care providers caring for patients with these dreaded seasonal allergies.

    "The guideline...

    As Climate Change Lengthens Allergy Season, Pollen Travels Farther

    If you suffer the itchy, sneezy, wheezy consequences of seasonal allergies, you're probably painfully aware that pollen season is starting earlier and lasting longer than ever.

    It's an upshot of climate change, and new research from Germany offers an explanation for this extended sneezin' season: Pollen is on the move, with early blooming spores now wafting across traditional locales and ...

    Are Your Allergies Worse? Blame Climate Change

    In a grim development for allergy sufferers in North America, a new investigation warns that pollen seasons are getting longer and worse.

    Over the last three decades, the annual pollen season has expanded by nearly three weeks, accompanied by a 21% jump in pollen concentrations.

    A big underlying cause: climate change.

    "It is clear that global warming is the major culprit ...

    Could High Pollen Levels Trigger Pelvic Pain?

    Most folks are familiar with the havoc that high pollen levels can wreak on their lungs, but new research suggests they can also exacerbate a painful pelvic condition in some people.

    "Our study provides evidence to suggest increased pollen counts may trigger symptom flares in people living with UCPPS [urologic chronic pelvic pain syndrome]," said researcher Siobhan Sutcliffe, of Washingto...

    Resolve to Keep Your Asthma, Allergies Under Control in 2021

    If you have allergies or asthma, keeping them under control might be a good New Year's resolution, experts suggest.

    "In 2021, along with your allergy and asthma symptoms, you'll still need to keep COVID prevention top of mind," said Dr. Luz Fonacier, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

    "It's always a challenge to implement new health routines...

    Avoid Allergy Flare-Ups This Holiday Season

    Doctors are warning about the threat of COVID-19 transmission as cold weather forces people indoors. But indoor allergies could also take the joy out of your holiday season, an expert says.

    Dust, mold, pets, furniture and houseplants can cause indoor allergies, said Dr. David Corry. He's a professor of medicine in the section of immunology, allergy and rheumatology at Baylor College of Me...

    Allergies Won't Up Your Odds for Severe COVID

    In a study of hospitalized patients who had COVID-19, outcomes for those who had allergies were similar to those of other patients, a new study reports.

    The findings were scheduled to be presented to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), which was held virtually this past weekend.

    "We examined the charts of 275 patients admitted to the hospital who tested ...

    Fending Off Asthma Attacks During a Pandemic

    Falling leaves, pumpkins and apples are signs of fall. And so is asthma.

    Asthma attacks tend to increase in early autumn. During the coronavirus pandemic, it's especially important for people with the disease to know how to prevent flare-ups, a lung expert says.

    "There are two different types of asthma flare-ups," said Dr. Pushan Jani, an assistant professor of pulmonary and...

    How the Saharan Dust Plume Could Make Your Allergies Worse

    As the giant Saharan dust plume continues its 5,000-mile journey across the Atlantic Ocean, experts warn that people in its path can expect to have flare-ups of allergies and asthma.

    The massive dust cloud is expected to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast this week.

    "The tiny dust particles contained in the plume will cause eye, nose and throat irritation for anyone who comes in thei...

    Are Your Symptoms From COVID-19 or Seasonal Allergies?

    In the thick of the coronavirus pandemic, it might be hard to tell if you've come down with COVID-19, spring allergies or a cold, which all have some similar symptoms.

    Fever and dry cough are common symptoms of COVID-19, along with shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, sore throat, diarrhea, fatigue, chills, muscle pain, loss of taste and smell, and body aches.

    But i...

    Pollen Fragments Linger After Rains, Leaving Allergy Sufferers Miserable

    Spring showers bring … pollen.

    That's the surprising discovery made by researchers when they measured tree pollen fragment concentrations during and after spring rains of varying intensity in Iowa City between April 17 and May 31, 2019.

    Rain fell on 28 days of the study period, which is prime tree pollen season. There were light rains, thunderstorms, and a severe stor...

    Is It Allergies or COVID-19? An Expert Helps You Tell the Difference

    With allergy season and the coronavirus pandemic overlapping this spring, one allergist offers some advice on how to tell which one may be making you miserable.

    "This spring allergy season has been especially challenging because of the pandemic of COVID-19, and a lot of my patients, and a lot of allergy sufferers, can have a hard time distinguishing between what is an allergy and wha...

    What You Need to Know About Coronavirus If You Have Asthma

    If you have asthma, you are among those at greatest risk in the coronavirus pandemic and must take precautions, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) says.

    It's important to keep your asthma well-controlled, so continue your medications. No asthma medications -- including inhaled corticosteroids and biologics -- have been shown to increase the risk of getting ...

    An Allergist Offers His Expert Advice for a Sneeze-Free Spring

    While many Americans are ready to celebrate the end of winter, those with seasonal allergies are already dreading the sneezing, wheezing, itchy eyes and runny nose that spring brings.

    "Spring allergies can be tricky to treat because not everyone is allergic to the same things, even though symptoms may look a lot alike," said Dr. J. Allen Meadows, president of the American College of A...