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The holiday season is in full swing, and so, unfortunately, are asthma and allergies. In fact, emergency room visits and hospital admissions for these disorders peak during this busy time of the year.

Dr. Jeffrey D. Miller, a Danbury, Conn., allergist, suggests the following for the millions of allergic or asthmatic people trying to make their holidays less uncomfortable:

Take care when unpacking seasonal items like ornaments and decorations that may have accumulated a whole year's worth of dust. Before bringing them into living areas, wear a face mask and clean them thoroughly.

People allergic to mold should avoid live Christmas trees and greens, which often have mold in their bark. Firewood has the same property and should not be stored indoors.

Smoke from fireplaces and wood-burning stoves, though festive, can trigger asthma.

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