Tis the season to be jolly and merry. But for those of us with breathing problems or lung conditions, it's also a time to be safe and take precautions for lung health – while hopefully not putting too much of a dampener on the holiday season.
From the risk of infections and germs at social events to scented candles and Christmas trees, from travel-related stress to last-minute plan changes, there's a lot to look out for. Here are some simple tips to protect your breathing and lung health.
Simple Steps to Protect Your Lung Health
- Wash your hands properly, and as often as required, as it is the best way to stop the spread of germs.
- Stay clear of people who are unwell.
- Keep your medicines handy.
- Stay on top of all your vaccine shots, especially the flu, and talk to your doctor about a pneumonia shot.
- Ensure all the prescriptions are up-to-date to handle flare-ups. With your doctor, draw up an action plan for a flare-up.
- Keep a close watch on symptoms and follow the action plan.
- Don't hesitate to seek help.
- If traveling, take extra medicine supplies; call ahead and make sure the place you're staying is free of triggers like smoke and dust.
Additional Tips to Prevent Flare-Ups
- If mold and pollen are allergy triggers, stay away from real Christmas trees as both are present in them.
- Avoid scented candles, potpourri, and strong aromas
- Christmas decorations will have collected dust, so request someone else to clean them before handling them.
- Avoid or limit exposure to smoke from fireplaces and wood stoves
- If cold winter air is a trigger, wear a scarf to help warm the air before it enters the lungs
- Do warm-up exercises inside if you plan to step out for exercise