Keeping allergies and asthma in check in the new year is a resolution worth keeping.
With 2023 dawning, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology offers some suggestions for keeping symptoms under control all year long.
"More than 50 million people in the U.S. suffer from allergic conditions," said allergist Dr. Kathleen May, president of the ACAAI.
"That's a lot of Americans who need to be mindful of staying healthy to keep symptoms under control," May added in a college news release. "Taking a few moments before the new year begins to consider how you'll keep yourself on top of sneezing and wheezing in 2023 is well worth your investment of time. It's a valuable way to get your year off to a great start."
At the top of the ACAAI tip list: Eat right to avoid food allergens. If you have a food allergy, you already know to steer clear of problem foods. You should also always carry two epinephrine auto injectors with you and make sure they are up to date.
Also, encourage teens and college kids to educate their friends about food allergies, making them allies in safety from anaphylaxis.
Make an appointment to see your allergist if the pandemic has caused you to stay away.
Keep medications current and pay attention to whether your prescriptions are working for your symptoms. An allergist can tailor a plan to fit your allergies and asthma.
The college offers some other recommendations:
Don't smoke. It's bad for your health and that of your child, especially if either of you have asthma. Studies have shown that children with asthma who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home have nearly double the risk of being hospitalized compared to kids with asthma who aren't exposed, the ACAAI said.
Steer clear of fireplace fires and campfires to protect your lungs.
Keep exercising. It's vital to maintaining good health. When you do exercise, use your pre-exercise asthma medication, typically an inhaled bronchodilator.
Warm up and cool down before and after exercise. Wear a mask or loose scarf over your mouth and nose if it's cold and windy outside.
If asthma limits your ability to exercise, ask your allergist about changing medications, the ACAAI recommends.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on asthma.
SOURCE: American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, news release, Dec. 13, 2022