Festival and Allergy

Tips on staying safe from allergies while enjoying the holiday season

Food allergy

A food allergy reaction occurs when your immune system overreacts to a food or a substance in a food, identifying it as a danger and triggering a protective response.  Symptoms of a food allergy can range from mild to severe and can vary from person to person.  You may not always experience the same symptoms during every reaction. Advice to prevent food allergy during traveling include;

  • Check the ingredients or ask about food content if it is not labeled
  • Check out and aware where local hospitals are before your trip
  • Always carry allergy medication and adrenaline auto-injector if you have history of anaphylaxis

Co-factor of allergy:

Alcohol

Alcohol consumption can increase gut permeability and worsen the allergic symptoms. Alcohol can impair your ability to make appropriate food choices. The best way to prevent a reaction is to simply avoid alcohol or consume in moderation.

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs are among the most commonly used analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic medications. The medication can also increase gut permeability. A broad variety of adverse effects ranging from gastrointestinal irritation to severe, life-threatening symptoms.

Inhalation allergy

Health effects of Particulate Matter (PM)

Due to many adverse effects fine particles can inflict on a large number of people, PM2.5 is one of the major pollutants closely monitored by health authorities around the world.  Since they are so small and light, fine particles tend to stay longer in the air. This increases the chances of inhaling them into the bodies. These small particles are able to bypass the nose and throat and penetrate deep into the lungs and some may even enter the circulatory system.

There is a close link between exposure to fine particles and premature death from heart and lung disease. Fine particles are also known to trigger or worsen chronic disease such as asthma, heart attack, bronchitis and other respiratory problems. Check the Air Quality Index (AQI) or the air quality standards if you must go outdoors.  When the amount of PM2.5 is at unhealthy level, avoid staying outdoors and wear a N95 or higher face mask to reduce exposure and protect your health.

Inhalation allergens

Many people who have inhaled allergies only experience symptoms during certain seasons. Pollen, grass, and mold are the most common triggers of seasonal allergies.

Suggestions to reduce exposure to airborne allergens

  • Refrain from outside activities, if possible, during times of high pollen counts (if you are sensitive to pollens)
  • Shower or bathe and change clothes following outdoor activity
  • Put on glasses when going outdoor
  • Wear protective mask