Risk of fatal asthma attacks this Christmas

As the festive season kicks in, the Asthma Society is warning the 10,059 people with asthma in Mayo to be aware of their asthma triggers and to plan ahead for the Christmas holidays.

Sarah O’Connor, CEO of the Asthma Society, said: “This time of year can be extremely dangerous for people with asthma. During the festive season, people don’t take their asthma as seriously as they would throughout the rest of the year. One person dies every six days due to their asthma and 90% of these deaths are preventable.

"It is so important that people with asthma plan ahead for the holiday season, ensuring that they or their child have enough medication to last the Christmas, as pharmacies will be closed. It is also essential that they stick to their asthma routine and remember to take their asthma medication daily. Asthma triggers also need to be taken seriously during the holidays and avoided where necessary."

Common asthma triggers to avoid during the festive season include:

Artificial Christmas trees and decorations which gather mould and dust in storage during the year.

Real Christmas trees and festive greenery such as holly and mistletoe that contain mould which thrives in a warm environment.

Open Fires that emit smoke and fumes.

Scented Candles - often gifted at Christmas.

Food which is often consumed in larger than normal amounts during the festive season, often contains ingredients that people with asthma are allergic to, which can trigger their asthma - so know your allergies.

Alcohol contains histamines and sulphites which trigger asthma in many people

Weather changes can have a huge effect on people with asthma, especially cold weather.

Stress is a huge trigger for asthma sufferers - try to avoid getting stressed this Christmas.

Colds and flus at this time of the year can be particularly dangerous for people with asthma.

Sex, like any other form of physical exercise, can be a trigger for people with asthma, but you can still have your romantic Christmas.

Cigarette smoke during nights out over the Christmas will be a problem for people with asthma.

Cleaning Products - use natural cleaning agents such as lemon and water

The Asthma Society would like to thank all its members for their ongoing support during 2019 and to wish them a happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year. Tragically one person dies every week from asthma. If you would like to further support the Society’s work, please donate what you can on asthma.ie All donations will be used to improve the lives of the 380,000 people with asthma in Ireland.

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