If you have allergies or asthma, keeping them under control might be a good New Year's resolution, experts suggest.
"In 2021, along with your allergy and asthma symptoms, you'll still need to keep COVID prevention top of mind," said Dr. Luz Fonacier, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).
"It's always a challenge to implement new health routines as you begin the new year, and this year will have particular challenges," Fonacier said in an ACAAI news release. "But with a few small tweaks, you may see some surprising benefits — like breathing easier and having fewer allergy symptoms. Can you think of a better way to ring in the new year?"
Here are some suggestions for asthma/allergy-related resolutions:
- Keep taking COVID-19 prevention measures, such as wearing a mask, using hand sanitizer, social distancing, and not traveling. You and all family members should get a flu shot.
- Try to stay active. Even if gyms are closed, use Zoom classes, apps, and other ways to get exercise. If you live in a warmer region, it may be possible to exercise outdoors, even if it's just a 20- to 30-minute walk a day.
- If you're in colder regions, remember that exercising in cold air can make asthma symptoms worse. Don't exercise outdoors if it's cold and windy. Use your inhaler before exercise and as needed during exercise. Wearing a mask can warm the air before you breathe it in.
- If asthma limits your ability to exercise, consult your allergist.
- You shouldn't smoke and neither should anyone else in your home. Secondhand smoke is particularly harmful to children's lungs, and children with asthma who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home have nearly double the risk of hospitalization than children with asthma who aren't exposed.
- Stick to a healthy diet and avoid any foods that may cause an allergic reaction.