14 December 2015



‘Tis the season for holiday gatherings, mingling with friends, family – and allergy and asthma triggers. From the host’s overpowering perfume to the nuts in the snack bowl, holiday parties can be a challenge.


But asthma and allergies don’t need to be a Grinch that steals holiday cheer.  I hope you will consider these few steps to help keep allergic conditions under control.  As an allergist, I diagnose and treat people with allergies and asthma, and I’d be happy to talk to you about this further.

Holiday gatherings are festive fun, but it’s not easy to be the life of the party when you’re sniffling, sneezing and wheezing. From the host’s overpowering perfume to the nuts in the snack bowl, holiday parties can be a challenge for people with allergies and asthma.


“During the holiday season you’re exposed to multiple allergens,” said Dr. Shapiro and Dr. Lokshin, of Allergy and Asthma Associates, allergist specializing in diagnosing and treating allergies and asthma.  “Be aware of potential problems and triggers so you can deal with them  and then, have a good time!”


Let your host know you’ll be at the party with bells on after following these suggestions from Dr. Shapiro and Dr. Lokshin and the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).


  1. Medicate before you go: There’s almost no avoiding the dusty decorations, the holiday candles, the potpourri or the perfume-doused reveler, and any of them may cause an allergic reaction. Your best bet is to take your antihistamine before you go. Contact us so we can prescribe appropriate medication.
  2. Be the designated driver: Toast your host with sparkling water. In addition to being more clear-headed and safer on the road, you’ll avoid a possible reaction to ingredients, including preservatives in beer or wine. If you think you’ve had a reaction, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment to determine the cause your misery.                                                      
  3. Eat smart: From the creamy dip to the gooey chocolate dessert, holiday goodies can be tempting, but may contain many common allergens, including dairy, nuts, soy and wheat.  Ask your host if the munchies contain anything you’re allergic to. And if you suffer from severe food allergies, always carry your injectable epinephrine.
  4. Steer clear of smoke: The cozy fire in the hearth can warm your cockles but make your lungs wheeze – smoke is a common asthma trigger. Go mingle in another room.
  5. Don’t let the greens make you blue: Christmas trees and other holiday greenery that deck the halls look pretty, but are associated with several possible allergens. You may be allergic to the mold commonly found on the trunk or the terpene in the tree sap of a natural tree. And the artificial kind can be covered with dust – a common allergen – after spending the year in the attic. Be sure to thoroughly clean your tree before putting it up. Poinsettias, a member of the rubber tree family, are everywhere this time of year. Stay away if you have a latex allergy
  6. Go on the defense: You could exchange more than conversation during cocktail party banter. Flu germs are everywhere and the illness can worsen asthma. Play it safe by getting a seasonal flu shot.


If you find you are sniffling and sneezing year round, allergy shots may be the treatment that can help you put your symptoms behind you for good. To learn more about allergies, asthma and allergy shots and take a relief self-test visit or


Also, please feel free to use the tips above, provided by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

I wish you warm, happy and sneeze-free holidays.


Leonard Shaprio, MD

Boris Lokshin, MD

2135 Green Vista Dr. Suite 109

Sparks, NV 89431

Ph: 775-359-5010

 Fax: 775-359-7656