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Steer Clear of Sneezing This Summer

Experts offer tips for allergy, asthma sufferers

SATURDAY, July 17, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Now that it's time for summer fun, people with allergies and asthma may need some reminders on how to manage their symptoms by taking proper precautions.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) offers the following advice.

When you're camping:

  • Air out your equipment before your trip. Check for mold in tents and tarps. If you do find mold, wash it off with a hot water and bleach solution.
  • Take your allergy and/or asthma medications with you.
  • Check with your group about food allergies and pack only foods that are safe for everyone.
  • Scout around your camp site for ragweed, poison oak, poison ivy, and other plants that can cause allergic reactions. Bring ointments and medications.
  • People with asthma should sit farther away from campfires and avoid the smoke.

Insect bites and stings can be another problem for people who are allergic to them:

  • Avoid areas where there are nests of stinging insects.
  • Hire a trained exterminator to destroy hives and nests around your home.
  • Do not swat flying insects. Remain calm and quiet.
  • Don't wear brightly-colored clothing or heavy scented perfume or cologne when you're outdoors.
  • If you're eating outdoors, keep all food covered until it's eaten.
  • Stay away from trash containers, which attract insects.

If you have exercise-induced asthma, you should:

  • Always warm up -- light jogging and stretching -- before your workout.
  • Always cool down -- easy walking and stretching -- after working out.
  • Don't exercise outdoors when pollen counts are high. It could aggravate your asthma.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, take breaks during your exercise, and always bring your inhaler with you.

More information

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology has more about traveling with allergies and asthma.

SOURCE: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, news release, June 2004
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