OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) - Dealing with allergies during the holidays is a major struggle for some Oklahomans.
“You have to change your entire way of thinking, your entire way of acting, and then sometimes your entire routines,” said Sarah Loyd.
Loyd is making multiple life changes after she found out a lot of her problems were cause by her allergies.
It's something many of us struggle with but it was more severe for Loyd and her mother, Sonya.
“I was first diagnosed with my asthma when I was unpacking Christmas decorations,” said Sonya Loyd. “I get short of breath and start sneezing and coughing, and grab an inhaler."
They've both been dealing with allergies for years now, and the holidays don't help.
Dr. Amy Liebl-Darter, with the Oklahoma Institute of Allergy and Asthma Immunology, says live Christmas trees are just one issue.
“So live Christmas trees that you have fun with your family going to purchase can, unfortunately, be covered in cedar pollen but also mold on the bark of a tree,” said Dr. Darter.
Mold can grow in many different areas of the house.
Dr. Darter says having the heaters on and doors shut may just add fuel to the fire.
“When you bring those things indoors, with ventilation that’s not the outdoors, then definitely those can become an issue,” she said.
The Loyd mother-daughter duo says they don't just deal with mold and pollen, they struggle with every day things like pets and candles.
Things that are most likely around for a big holiday party.
“A lot of people like candles, and I love candles, but just the smoke itself for the unscented candles, the scented candles are a problem,” said Sonya.
“This is a daily struggle. This is something that has its big moments and has its moments where you have to leave some family gatherings because you can’t breathe there,” added Sonya.
If you do struggle during the holidays, one way to combat them is to pre-medicate.
“If you know you’re going to be exposed to something indoors that bothers you, pre-medication with an over-the-counter antihistamine or nasal decongestant can be helpful,” said Dr. Darter.
Sonya Loyd gets an allergy shot once a month and says it has changed her life.
They all added to check on your friend and family's allergies before having everyone over for a party.
For a live look at the mold and pollen count in Oklahoma, click here.