December 12, 2022
Keeping overall health in mind will work on allergy and asthma symptoms in the new year
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Dec. 13, 2022) – Don’t make it the “same old, same old” when it comes to New Year’s resolutions this year. Resolutions don’t have to be something you avoid. Think of them as gentle suggestions to keep in mind as you head into 2023 and want to do a good job of keeping your allergy and asthma symptoms under control.
“More than 50 million people in the U.S. suffer from allergic conditions,” says allergist Kathleen May, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). “That’s a lot of Americans who need to be mindful of staying healthy to keep symptoms under control. 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.”
Following are four New Year’s resolutions from ACAAI that those who suffer from allergies or asthma may want to consider.
- Eat right to avoid food allergens – Anyone with a food allergy knows they need to steer clear of foods that cause an allergic reaction. The best way to do that is to do your research – whether it’s for your child or for yourself. Make sure you always carry two epinephrine auto injectors with you, and that they are up to date. Teens and college kids sometimes avoid mentioning food allergies so they won’t stick out among their peers. Encourage them to educate their friends and make them allies in keeping them safe from anaphylaxis.
- Get organized about your health – Has it been a while since you or your child had a visit with your allergist? Covid knocked things off track, but it’s probably time to make an appointment again. Make sure all medications are current, and that your prescriptions are working. A board-certified allergist can develop a plan tailored to your allergies and asthma to help you lead the life you want. The new year is the perfect time to check in with your allergist if you haven’t seen them recently. ACAAI has an allergist locator to help you find an allergist near you.
- No smoking! – You know you need to quit, for your health and your child’s, especially if either of you has asthma. Secondhand smoke is particularly harmful to kids’ lungs, and studies have shown children with asthma who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home have nearly double the risk of being hospitalized than children with asthma who aren’t exposed. And even though the idea of a roaring fire is tempting this time of year, if you or your kids have asthma, you should steer clear of fireplace fires and campfires.
- Huff and puff for the right reasons – Although the idea of exercising with asthma can make you nervous about flares, exercise is vital to maintaining good health. Always use your pre-exercise asthma medicine (generally, your inhaled bronchodilator) before beginning exercise, if recommended by your allergist. Perform warm-up exercises and have a good cool-down period after exercise. If it’s cold and windy outside, work out indoors or wear a mask or loose scarf over your nose and mouth. If asthma limits your ability to exercise, see your allergist to discuss a possible adjustment to your asthma medication routine.
If you think you or your child might have allergies or asthma, make an appointment with an allergist for proper testing. An allergist can help you take control and live your best life. To locate an allergist in your area, visit AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org.
The ACAAI is a professional medical organization of more than 6,000 allergists-immunologists and allied health professionals, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill. The College fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy, and research. ACAAI allergists are board-certified physicians trained to diagnose allergies and asthma, administer immunotherapy, and provide patients with the best treatment outcomes. For more information and to find relief, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org. Join us on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.