If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), understanding the potential triggers and planning accordingly for the holiday season can help reduce the risk of a flare-up of symptoms. Here are some tips to help you prepare for and get the most out of the holiday season:
- Trees: Although freshly cut Christmas trees are beautiful, it’s important to know they contain pollens and mold spores, which can cause breathing problems. If you opt to bring home a live tree, make sure to rinse it with a hose and let it dry before bringing it in the house. You can always go for an artificial Christmas tree, which you can reuse year after year!
- Holiday Ornaments: If you decide to use an artificial Christmas tree, make sure to store it in an airtight container. When you take out it out for the holiday season, use a cloth to wipe it down to remove any dust that has built up while it’s been in storage. Make sure all other holiday decorations and tree ornaments are stored in air-tight containers and dusted when taken out for the season as well. This will eliminate the possibility of extra dust and pollens contaminating the air.
- Scents: While holiday scents can make the holidays seem extra cheery, candles and air fresheners can trigger COPD symptoms. If you are at a party where candles, incense, or air fresheners are present, kindly ask the host to refrain from using them until you have left.
- Cleaning: While many of us will have extra cleaning during the holidays to make up for the additional cooking and hosting of get-togethers, make sure to avoid harsh chemicals and cleaning solutions. Ask for help of family members to take care of chores that require heavy cleaning products.
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