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Holiday Guide for Those with Severe Pet Allergies

Holiday Guide for Those with Severe Pet Allergies

The holiday season is a time for joy, togetherness, and lasting memories with family and friends. However, for individuals with severe pet allergies, the prospect of spending time in homes with furry friends can be a daunting challenge. Fear not! This comprehensive holiday survival guide is designed to help you navigate the festive season without sacrificing your health or holiday spirit.

 

Pre-Visit Preparations:

  1. Communicate Openly:

    • Inform your family about your severe pet allergy well in advance.
    • Discuss the importance of maintaining a pet-free environment during your stay.
  2. Select Allergy-Friendly Accommodations:

    • Choose lodgings that are pet-free or have stringent cleaning protocols.  Remember, just because a hotel says, "No pets allowed," they, by law, are required to accept service animals. 
    • Look for hotels where you can open a window and that isn't by a major road or freeway.
    • Ask a family or friend without pets as an alternative. 
  3. Pack Essentials:

    • Allergen Spray plus refills
    • Nasal spray and other medication if needed
    • Bring your own spare pillowcases or pillow
    • Mask
    • Asthma inhaler: if you have asthma, make sure it is not expired and always pack an extra one. I pack one in my purse and one in my checked bag or carry-on. 

Travel Tips:

  1. Travel Pillow and Blanket:

    • Bring your own spare pillow and blanket for the journey. Don't forget to wash them right when you get home.
  2. Face Masks:

    • Wear a mask to reduce the inhalation of airborne allergens, especially on the plane. "I personally have been traveling with a mask for years and have seen a difference when wearing it on a plane, I will link my favorite mask brand below." -Savanna Elliott, Co-founder

On-Site Strategies:

  1. Create a Safe Zone:

    • Work with your family to designate a pet-free area where you can retreat when needed. Make sure to spray that room down and change into clean clothes before entering. Clothes can easily transfer pet dander allergens from one room to another.
  2. Self-Care:

    • Prioritize self-care by taking breaks outside or in the pet-free room.  

"As someone who has survived a lot of holidays with pets, it can easily be overwhelming and sometimes even scary. It's okay to take breaks, ask for help, and even leave. Your allergy struggle is real and valid, but you are also not alone." -Savanna Elliott, Co-founder

 

Survive the Holidays Allergy-Free: My Personal Product Recommendations

  1. Allergen Defender Spray:

    • Before and during your holiday stay, use the Allergen Defender Spray to create a safe, allergen-free environment. Spray in the air and on surfaces at the hotel and your family's house. Get it here: Allergen Bundle
  2. Cambridge Mask Co Pro:

    • When traveling, especially on planes with pets, the Cambridge Mask Co Pro provides effective protection. I've been using it for years. Find it here: Cambridge Mask Co Pro
  3. Bioctosal Forte Oxygen Supplements:

    • For an extra boost, I turn to Bioctosal Forte, an oxygen supplement. Octacosanol in the supplement may enhance oxygen utilization during exercise, improving endurance, stamina, and reaction time. Find it here: Bioctosal Forte
  4. Immune Support with Vitamin D and C:

    • To stay healthy during holiday travels, boost your immune system with increased Vitamin D and C intake. This proactive approach might help fend off illnesses that often accompany holiday journeys. Find Vitamin D  & Vitamin C

 

 

Returning Home: Post-Holiday Allergy Recovery

The joyous holiday festivities may have come to an end, but it's crucial to prioritize your well-being as you return home. Here are essential steps to ease back into your daily routine and recover from any potential allergen exposure:

  1. Unpack Strategically:

    • When unpacking, do so in a well-ventilated area to minimize exposure to any lingering allergens on your belongings.
  2. Laundry Ritual:

    • Wash all of your clothes with a fragrance-free detergent to eliminate any allergens they may have picked up. Water above 130 degrees and high heat in the dryer will help.
  3. Deep Clean Your Living Space:

    • Conduct a thorough cleaning of your home, focusing on your bedroom. You need sleep to help your body recover from an allergy attack or asthma attack. Getting a good night's sleep is vital. Spray your entire home with the Allergen Spray. I personally like to spray my suitcase right after opening it up, place everything in the wash, and then spray the house down. 

 

While the holidays offer a wonderful opportunity for gathering and celebrating, allergies can pose a challenge. I hope that this guide will prove helpful in navigating your travels. Wishing you a joyous holiday season!

 

We do not make commissions off of these products besides our Allergen Spray. These products are my personal recommendation; always talk to your doctor before starting or stopping any medication and supplements.

 

Common Questions

Are there allergy-friendly toys available to prevent dust mite infestation?

Yes, there are indeed allergy-friendly toys available specifically designed to prevent dust mite infestation. Parents have found a clever solution by placing their children's toys in the freezer for 24 hours, effectively killing the dust mites. However, if this seems impractical, there are alternative options. Today, you can find a wide range of allergy-friendly children's toys and even toys suitable for pets that are specifically made to withstand frequent washing. These toys are designed to be easily cleaned, minimizing the chances of dust mites accumulating and causing allergies or respiratory issues. With the availability of these allergy-friendly toys, parents can provide a safer and healthier play environment for their children.

Can dust mites be killed by sunlight or freezing?

Dust mites can indeed be effectively killed by both sunlight and freezing temperatures. Exposing items that may be infested with dust mites, such as rugs, to direct sunlight for a duration of three hours can result in their elimination. Similarly, freezing can also be a useful method to eradicate dust mites. By placing items like children's toys in a freezer for 24 hours, dust mites can be killed off. These methods have been widely practiced by parents in order to rid their homes of dust mite infestations.

How do HEPA air purifiers and dehumidifiers help reduce dust mites in the air?

HEPA air purifiers are highly effective in reducing the presence of dust mites in the air. These purifiers work by filtering out airborne particles like dust, mold, pollen, animal dander, and other allergens. Dust mites are microscopic creatures that thrive in environments with high levels of moisture. By capturing these particles, HEPA air purifiers significantly reduce the number of dust mites in the air you breathe.

Additionally, it is important to avoid ionic air cleaners when choosing an air purifier aimed at reducing dust mites. Ionic air cleaners can emit ozone, which is a lung irritant and can trigger asthma attacks and other respiratory issues. Unfortunately, some popular air cleaners actually contribute to air pollution by releasing ozone. To make an informed decision, you can refer to our Air Purifier Buying Guide for more information on selecting the right air purifier to effectively combat dust mites and other airborne allergens.

In addition to HEPA air purifiers, dehumidifiers also play a crucial role in reducing dust mites in the air. Dust mites are unable to survive without adequate moisture levels in the environment, and excess moisture creates an ideal breeding ground for these microscopic pests. By removing excess moisture from the air, dehumidifiers help to create an inhospitable environment for dust mites to thrive in.

To effectively control dust mite populations, it is recommended to maintain a relative humidity level between 40% and 50%. You can use a Digital Humidity Gauge to monitor the humidity levels in your home and ensure they stay within this range. For a more detailed understanding of how dehumidifiers work and the different options available, refer to our comprehensive Dehumidifier Buying Guide.

By using HEPA air purifiers to filter out dust mites and other allergens, and utilizing dehumidifiers to control moisture levels, you can significantly reduce the presence of dust mites in the air and create a healthier indoor environment.

Besides dust mite covers, what other methods can be used to control dust mites in the environment?

To effectively control dust mites in your environment besides using dust mite covers, there are several strategies you can employ:

1. Regular Vacuuming: Vacuuming frequently with a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter can help reduce dust mites. HEPA filters are designed to trap at least 99.97% of allergenic particles, effectively removing dust mites and their allergens from carpets, upholstery, and other surfaces.

2. Anti-Allergen Cleaning Products: Use specially formulated anti-allergen cleaning products to clean and dust surfaces in your home. These products are designed to minimize allergens, including dust mite allergens, and help reduce their presence.

3. Anti-Allergen Laundry Care: Washing bedding, curtains, and other fabrics in anti-allergen laundry detergents or adding anti-allergen laundry additives can effectively remove dust mites and their allergens. This step is particularly crucial for items that come into contact with your skin.

4. HEPA Air Purifiers: Consider using HEPA air purifiers to filter the air in your home. These purifiers are effective in capturing particles such as dust, mold spores, pollen, and animal dander, including dust mite allergens. However, avoid ionic air cleaners that can emit ozone, a lung irritant that may trigger asthma attacks and breathing difficulties.

5. Regulate Indoor Humidity: Dust mites thrive in environments with high moisture levels. By using dehumidifiers, you can reduce excess moisture in the air, making it less suitable for dust mites and mold spores to survive. Aim for a relative humidity of 40% to 50% to discourage dust mite growth. Monitoring the humidity using a digital humidity gauge can help you maintain the optimal levels.

By implementing these additional methods, you can create an inhospitable environment for dust mites, effectively reducing their population and minimizing the presence of allergens that can trigger allergies and asthma.

What are dust mites and how were they discovered?

Dust mites are microscopic creatures that belong to the arachnid family, making them relatives of spiders. These tiny organisms were unknown to humans until the invention of the microscope by Anton van Leeuwenhoek in 1694. When Leeuwenhoek first observed these creatures in magnified photographs, he was astonished and disturbed by their presence. Considering their minuscule size, they were unnoticeable to the naked eye. In fact, it was only through the use of a microscope that their existence was revealed.

Dust mites obtained their scientific name, Dermatophagoides, which means "skin eater," due to their feeding habits. The primary source of food for these creatures is dead human skin, which constitutes a significant portion of the dust found in homes. Consequently, even a small cluster of dust can act as an abundant buffet for dust mites. It is worth noting that astonishingly high numbers of dust mites can be found in just half a teaspoon of dust, potentially reaching up to 1,000 individuals.

What are dust mites and how were they discovered?

The number of dust mites present in a mattress can range from about 100,000 to as high as 10,000,000, depending on the age of the mattress. It is important to note that dust mite populations have the potential to grow rapidly. A single female dust mite can lay around 25 to 30 eggs per week, contributing to the exponential increase in their population.