When you think of Halloween allergies, probably the first thing that comes to mind is scary stuff about treats and food allergies. For more information on those and how to keep those frightful triggers from attacking, visit our blog “Avoiding Food Allergies: Tricks for Treats.”
However, don’t breath a sigh of relief just yet. There are a few Halloween threats that are still lurking in the shadows. The following list shines a light on them to help keep you safe:
Costumes. Sure a scary costume will cause your heart to beat faster and make it difficult to breath, but it may actually be the costume itself that is causing the discomfort. Be on the lookout for latex or nickel, materials that are commonly found in masks, pieces of costume clothing, and accessories. Make sure to check all the labels on even the smallest costume item.
Makeup. As we discussed in “A Beauty Products Allergy: Not Just Skin-Deep,” many ingredients in makeup can result in a type of allergy called contact dermatitis. For more information on skin allergies and their causes, visit our blog “Scratching Out Skin Allergies.” Also, latex found in special effects makeup can trigger a severe reaction and even anaphylaxis. Again, be sure to check all labels before using.
Anything that has been packed away. Costumes and decorations that have spent the last 11 or 12 months packed away in a box may be full of dust and mold. Be sure to clean them thoroughly before using as the allergens can be dangerous for people with allergies or asthma.
Fog. Smoke machines that create fog are really cool, but they are only fun until someone can’t breathe. The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology explains that “the irritant effect of short term exposure to water-based fog machines – particularly when the chemical glycol is used could trigger acute asthma symptoms.” This occurs because this type of machine reduces oxygen levels, which can be dangerous even for people without these conditions.
Cold. It’s likely that on Halloween, it’s pretty cold out and staying out in the lower temperature during trick-or-treating can make allergies and asthma worse. Combine that with the physical activity of going house to house and it can be a real fright. Remember, too, that this is leave season, which also means mold season, which is also an allergy trigger. Make sure to dress warmly and be aware of the start of any respiratory issues, and take breaks if necessary.
Emotions. Halloween ‘tis the season of being scared and excited, and this is supposed to be fun for everyone. However, did you know that emotional responses such as these can trigger both allergy and asthma attacks? If you are someone you know suffers from either, keep an eye out for reactions during any highly emotional period and act accordingly.
Keep these tips in mind and everyone is sure to have a bootiful time. Everyone here at CT Sinus Center hopes that this Halloween you all eat, drink, be safe and be scary!