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Prevent Red, White and Achoo this Fourth of July

Prevent Red, White and Achoo this Fourth of July

Keep allergy and asthma symptoms out of your 4th of July celebration

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 27, 2023) – This year, after several years of cancelled 4th of July events due to Covid-19, there’s a good chance your town or village will be moving ahead with red, white, and blue festivities. Join the fun by preparing to celebrate without allergy and asthma symptoms.

“The 4th of July is a great time to gather with friends and family and celebrate summer,” says allergist Kathleen May, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). “But as with any outdoor holiday, July 4th festivities mean those with allergies and asthma need to take a few extra precautions to make sure their holiday is safe, and sneeze- and wheeze-free. Those with asthma need to be cautious at events where smoke will be featured. Smoke in any form – from fireworks, bonfires, or campfires – should be avoided as it can cause asthma to flare.”

Here are five tips from ACAAI for how to enjoy the holiday – while steering clear of allergy and asthma flares.

  1. Avoid wings and stings – No one wants to get stung at a party, but stinging insects are particularly hazardous for those who have had a previous allergic reaction to a sting. If you have been stung and had an allergic reaction, you should always carry two doses of your epinephrine auto injector. Wear shoes when walking in grass where stinging insects look for food, and cover soft drink cans and food. Stinging insects love open cans and containers.
  2. Temperature swings can cause asthma flares – Did you know sudden swings in temperature can trigger an asthma attack? Going from a hot picnic area to a cold pool or lake, or an air-conditioned room could cause an asthma flare. If you’re planning to exercise, consider an indoor workout on a hot, humid day that includes high levels of ozone.
  3. Mmm, a juicy burger – More and more people are discovering that it’s possible to get a meat allergy from a tick bite. A bite from the Lone Star tick, which can now be found in most parts of the U.S., can cause you to be allergic to red meats. Meat from any kind of mammal — such as beef, lamb or pork — can cause an allergic reaction. This can even happen with high fat dairy products (think ice cream) in some cases! Red meat-tick allergy is uncommon, but more cases are being reported and numbers continue to rise due to increased recognition of the diagnosis. See an allergist if you suspect you have this allergy.
  4. Spring is in the air in summer too – Most people associate pollen allergies with spring, but grass or pollen allergies can also strike in summer. If you have grass or pollen allergies and your festivities will be outside, take your allergy medications well in advance of the event. You need to give your allergy medications time to work if you’ll be encountering seasonal allergens. If you suffer from asthma, be consistent with your quick-relief and long-term, maintenance medications. Take them as recommended by your allergist. Allergists are specially trained to keep asthma symptoms under control.
  5. My lips are tingling – Summer means a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. But if you suffer from hay fever, you may experience a scratchy throat, itchy mouth or swelling of your lips or mouth after eating some raw/fresh fruits or vegetables. Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome (PFAS) happens when allergens found in both pollen and raw/fresh fruits and veggies cross react. The symptoms usually do not progress beyond the mouth. Because the symptoms usually go away once the fresh fruit or raw vegetable is swallowed or removed from the mouth, treatment is not normally necessary. Check with your allergist to see if your PFAS symptoms might be a cross reaction to pollen.

If your allergy and asthma symptoms are keeping you from summer fun, make an appointment with an allergist for proper testing. An allergist can help you live the life you want. Use the ACAAI allergist locator to find an allergist in your area.

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 Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

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