Hudson Allergy

Hudson Allergy – Feature a Patient’s Business: Tolu Odunfa Dragone – Oddragone LLC

What is your name?
Tolu Odunfa Dragone.

What is the name of your business, and your website URL?
Oddragone LLC,

When was your business founded and how long have you been working there?
The business was established in 2015 when I was on maternity leave with my son and we have been working on design projects since then.

Please describe your business: What is your elevator pitch? Who is your ideal customer?
Oddragone is primarily an Interior Design Studio focused on Luxury Residential and Commercial projects of any size. We are happy to work on projects as small as a room in your home to a large hotel. I have worked the last 5 years in Luxury residential and Hotel design and have designed everything from a model apartment to a lounge on a cruise ship! Our ideal customer will trust us to design a space that is authentic, beautiful and functional.

Please describe your role in your business: What does your day-to-day look like?
I am the head designer at Oddragone, so I engage with clients; come up with the style direction/concept of the project; help prepare initial budgets; develop the concept into layouts, materials and furniture; liaise with architects and contractors; in some cases, purchase furniture and accessories; oversee the construction of the project; and style the completed space for move-in.

How has having your child seeing an allergist (visiting Hudson Allergy) helped you be more productive in your profession?
It has given me peace of mind so I can focus on my work. When we discovered that my son had a peanut allergy, I didn’t know how I would be able to protect him from a severe reaction – I was worried and I was clueless. The doctor was able to diagnose his allergen and provide a course of action/treatment in the case of accidental exposure/ ingestion. She also emphasized the importance of avoiding the allergen as much as possible and gave us useful information that would help us do so. Finally, she encouraged us to participate in any groundbreaking treatments that were offered at a local hospital towards helping eliminate or alleviate the allergic reactions.

What advice do you want to give to anyone reading this?
If you think you or a family member has allergies, see an allergist! You may not be sure – maybe you just have a feeling because of a weird redness on the skin or tummy troubles. Knowledge is power, so why not empower yourself and ultimately keep yourself and your children healthy.

What is your favorite thing about NYC?
New York is so full of possibility – that’s why there is so much of everything. I love the global feel and the access to so much amazing design, fashion, food and entertainment.

Get Social with Oddragone LLC:
Instagram: @oddragone


They’re Just Like Us – Six Celebrities with Allergies

Allergies affect as many as 30% of adults in the United States, with triggers ranging from food, dust, pet dander, pollen, and more. Allergy symptoms can include sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes, wheezing, or even life-threatening anaphylaxis. These symptoms can sometimes feel debilitating, but living with allergies doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish the things you want. Many celebrities successfully live with allergies. For example, did you know that despite having her own line of fragrances, Beyoncé is allergic to perfume?

Queen Bey isn’t the only celebrity to be successful while managing allergies. Here are a few more celebs that deal with allergies:

Serena Williams is allergic to peanuts. If you have a peanut allergy like Serena, the two of you aren’t alone – it is one of the most common food allergies, and its prevalence seems to be growing in children. The number of children in the United States with a peanut allergy tripled between the years 1997 and 2008, according to a study funded by FARE. The symptoms of a peanut allergic reaction include nausea, an itching or tingling sensation around the mouth, hives, or even anaphylaxis. Managing a peanut allergy requires the avoidance of peanuts, carrying an epinephrine injector, and learning to read ingredient labels.

Halle Berry is reportedly allergic to shrimp. Shellfish is among one of the most common food allergies, and can also be one of the most dangerous. An anaphylactic reaction to shellfish requires medical attention, including an epinephrine injection and a visit to the emergency room. If you have a shellfish allergy, you will need to be cautious to avoid foods that may trigger a reaction and carry an epinephrine injector with you at all times.

Zooey Deschanel has been relatively open about her food allergies and sensitivities. She told Time Out Chicago that she has sensitivities to dairy, wheat, soy, and eggs. As with other allergies, people with a dairy allergy experience symptoms because the body’s immune system reacts to harmless substances (ex. milk) as though they were dangerous to the body. If you experience digestive issues after eating certain foods, keep a food journal to track what you’re eating and your symptoms. Bring this journal with you when you make an appointment with your allergist.

Miley Cyrus had to delay her 2014 tour after an allergic reaction to an antibiotic used to treat a sinus infection. While an allergic reaction to an antibiotic is rare, it can be severe. Symptoms can include asthma, hives, eczema, and anaphylaxis in serious cases. If you believe you are experiencing the symptoms of a drug allergy, stop taking the medication and seek medical attention.

Kelly Clarkson tweeted about her skin prick allergy test results in 2013. She joked that she should “live in a bubble” due to the amount of allergies she was diagnosed with, including pollen and pet dander. If you’ve been diagnosed with pet allergies like Kelly, it’s not time to shave the family pet – you’re not allergic to your pet’s fur. Instead, you are allergic to proteins found in an animal’s saliva, skin cells, and urine. Symptoms of a pet allergy include red or itchy eyes, sneezing, congestion, and coughing. Medication can help your symptoms, but the best course of action is avoidance. If you have a family pet, you’ll need to clean and vacuum on a regular basis and keep your pets out of the bedroom.

Britney Spears is reportedly allergic to bee stings and will break out into hives if stung. Bee stings can cause different reactions that range from the hives Britney experiences all the way to anaphylaxis. It is important to remember that having one type of reaction does not mean that is what you will experience every time. A severe allergic reaction to a bee sting can include symptoms such as skin reactions, difficulty breathing, swelling of the tongue or throat, and nausea, among others. People that have a severe reaction to a bee sting puts them at an increased risk of an anaphylactic reaction in the future. If you are allergic to insect stings, it’s important to stay vigilant when spending time outdoors and carry an epinephrine injector if necessary.

Do you think you might share an allergy with a celebrity? We are here to help!

If you have any questions about diagnosing or managing your allergies, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Feel free to give us a call at 212-729-1283 or email us at

Curious about other celebrities that have allergies? Click here or on the image below to view our infographic on celebrity allergies.


Hudson Allergy – Feature a Patient’s Business: Daniel Ochoa – Senior Financial Consultant

What is your name and what is your job title?
Daniel Ochoa, Senior Financial Consultant.

What is the name of your business, and your website URL?

TD Ameritrade,

When was your business founded and how long have you been working there?
Founded in 1975 (as First Omaha Securities, Inc.), I began working for the company in 2013.

Please describe your business: What is your elevator pitch? Who is your ideal customer?
As a Senior Financial Consultant, I work with goal-oriented investors to make sure that their wealth is positioned appropriately in order to reach their financial goals.

Please describe your role in your business: What does your day-to-day look like?

My role entails analyzing a client’s portfolio. This usually involves a discussion around downside protection, income planning for retirement, and estate / legacy planning issues as well.

How has seeing an allergist (visiting Hudson Allergy) helped you be more productive in your profession?
I’m not a native New Yorker. Even though many of the same allergens that I’m sensitive to exist elsewhere, getting hit with all new strains and everything that we as New Yorkers have to deal with nearly took me out of rotation and really hurt my business. Working with Hudson Allergy allowed me to recover my strength and clarity of focus to be able to give my clients my full attention.

What advice do you want to give to anyone reading this?
Don’t wait to start planning for your future. The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is today.

What is your favorite thing about NYC?
The eclectic human experience. You simply never know who you are going to meet, and we really are only a few degrees away from each other.


Get Social with Daniel:
LinkedIn: Daniel Ochoa

Hudson Allergy – Feature a Patient’s Business: Nicole Hamilton – Homeownering


What is your name and what is your job title?
Nicole Hamilton, Founder & CEO.

What is the name of your business, and your website URL?

When was your business founded and how long have you been working there?
Homeownering was founded in 2016. I’ve been working there since its founding.

Please describe your business: What is your elevator pitch? Who is your ideal customer?
Homeownering provides independent and unbiased homeownership advice and resources for female homeowners.

As homeowners, our home is often our largest asset. Homeownering gives you tools and tips to not get taken for a ride, save money, and make your home the safe and sound investment that it should be.

Why for women? Women actually represent the largest group of home buyers, outpacing men (NAR, 2016). Even so, they often get worse mortgage terms (Urban Institute, 2016) even though they are better at paying their mortgage on time. Women sometimes they are taken advantage of in other areas, like household repairs. Meanwhile, women make the majority of financial decisions for a household (Regions Bank, 2016).

Homeownering gives female homeowners better home financing tools than the professionals who serve them have, and puts them on a level playing field when it comes to making decisions about their household expenses.

Please describe your role in your business: What does your day-to-day look like?
I am in charge of managing the overall content schedule which includes identifying experts who can help provide the information that our subscribers most want to know, related to how to add value to your home and cut unnecessary expenses. I also oversee our subscriber feedback and product improvement around our independent and unbiased information products on how to navigate home financing and refinancing. Finally, I participate in videos related to homeownership issues, things like gardening, composting, negotiating insurance costs, maintenance issues, and more!

How has seeing an allergist (visiting Hudson Allergy) helped you be more productive in your profession?
We do a lot of our work outdoors and I’m terribly allergic to Sycamore trees that line our street, so seeing Hudson Allergy has helped me learn more about how to prevent discomfort.

What advice do you want to give to anyone reading this?
80% of homeowners have 66% of their net worth in their homes. Being in better control of your home financing, more knowledgeable about how much equity you have in your home, and gaining insight into your extraneous costs can have a profound effect on your overall net worth now and into the future.

What is your favorite thing about NYC?
The people, most definitely.


Get Social with Homeownering:
Facebook: Homeownering
Twitter: @Homeownering
Pinterest: Homeownering


Seven Allergy Management Mistakes and How to Correct Them

Spring is here! …Are you sneezing yet?

While spring means warmer weather and more time spent outdoors, it also brings along pollen and other allergy triggers that cause symptoms like sneezing, coughing, congestion, and red, itchy eyes. These and other symptoms are enough to make most allergy sufferers want to hide away indoors, which is why an allergy management plan is so important. Even if you are actively managing your allergies there might be things you’re unknowingly doing that make your symptoms worse.

Here are seven of the most common mistakes people make when managing their allergies, and how you can avoid them:

Improper cleaning techniques.
Cleaning your home is an effective way to reduce allergens, but there are a few mistakes that many people make. For example, using scented cleaners or cleaning products with strong fragrances could aggravate your symptoms. Wear a mask while you clean to avoid breathing in allergens that have been stirred up into the air and leave the house for a few hours after you finish cleaning. (Use a damp cloth to better trap dust and other allergens that get kicked up into the air.)

Leaving windows open.
We understand the desire for fresh air, but opening your windows allows pollen to enter your home. Turn on the air conditioning instead if it is hot outside, and make sure your air filter is clean.

Waiting too long to take your medication.
Don’t wait until your symptoms are bothering you to take your medication. Your allergy medication tends to be more effective at preventing symptoms rather than treating them.

Not communicating effectively.
Don’t feel shy about your allergy. If you’ll be attending a party or another event and will need the host to accommodate your allergy, let them know in advance. You should also become more comfortable with communicating the details of your allergy to chefs and restaurant wait staff.

Additionally, you should be open and honest about your symptoms when speaking with your doctor. You may find it useful to keep a diary of your symptoms and discussing it at your next appointment.

Not paying attention to pollen counts.
By knowing the day’s pollen count you will be better able to plan your daily activities. For example, pollen counts are highest in the morning so it’s best to avoid outdoor exercise at that time. By knowing the pollen numbers for the day you’ll be able to minimize your exposure and thereby lessen your symptoms.

Keeping allergen magnets in your home.
Yes, stuffed animals are cute and your down comforter is cozy, but they are also great at collecting allergens. Upholstered furniture and rugs are also allergen magnets. Replacing or removing items like these from your home will help reduce your exposure to allergens.

Allowing pets in your bed.
Even if you don’t have pet allergies, letting your pet into your bedroom and on your bed can be a mistake because they can bring in allergens like pollen, dust, mold and others. It’s better to make your bedroom an allergen- and pet-free area. (You should also know that there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic pet. While some breeds may be less allergy-inducing than others, any animal with fur has the potential to cause symptoms.) For more on pet allergies, check out this Buzzfeed article with common questions answered by our very own Dr. Mainardi.

Do you have questions about managing your allergies? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help! Feel free to give us a call at 212-729-1283 or email us at

Hudson Allergy – Feature a Patient’s Business: Tania Isenstein – Camp Canine

What is your name and what is your job title?
Tania Isenstein, Top Dog

What is the name of your business, and your website URL?
Camp Canine,

When was your business founded and how long have you been working there?
I took it over in April 2012; my 5 year anniversary is this year.

Please describe your business: What is your elevator pitch? Who is your ideal customer?
Camp Canine is a luxury doggie and kitty daycare, lodging and grooming facility on the UWS of Manhattan.

Please describe your role in your business: What does your day-to-day look like?
I am an owner/operator, and am extremely hands on.  I know each of the dogs and customers.

How has seeing an allergist (visiting Hudson Allergy) helped you be more productive in your profession?
Now, when I get a cold, it goes away rather than lingering for months and becoming more severe. I miss less work.

What advice do you want to give to anyone reading this?
Follow your dreams and stay healthy.

What is your favorite thing about NYC?
Everything!  I cannot imagine living anywhere else.


Get Social with Camp Canine:
Facebook: CampCanineNY & CampFeline
Instagram: @nycampcanine & @nycampfeline
Pinterest: NYCampCanine


How to Safely Travel with Allergies and Asthma

Spring break is just around the corner, and summer will be here before you know it. Are you planning your next big vacation? If you have allergies or asthma, careful planning and communication are essential to ensuring that your vacation is as safe as it is relaxing.

Travelers with allergies should take a page from the Boy Scout handbook: always be prepared. The time leading up to your trip should be spent arranging any special requests or accommodations as well as putting together an “allergy kit” that contains everything you’ll need to manage your allergies while away from home, such as prescription medications, emergency medicine like an epinephrine auto-injector or an inhaler, copies of your emergency care plans, and smaller supplies like tissues. You’ll want to make sure you leave plenty of lead-time for your requests to ensure that venues have time to make the proper arrangements.

Ready to start planning your vacation? Here are our tips:

Car Travel

  • Service your car before your travel date. Make sure that air filters are replaced and clean out the ventilation and air conditioning system.
  • Travel with the windows rolled up and use the recirculation button, if your car has one. This will limit the amount of outside air and pollutants (such as pollen) being pulled into the car’s cabin.
  • If you’ll be traveling in the car for long distances, make a smaller version of your allergy kit that you can bring in and out of the car with you.
  • Keep a bag or cooler of allergy-friendly snacks with you in the car.

Air Travel

  • Check the airline’s allergy policies before booking your flight. You should be able to find this on the airline website. If your not comfortable with a particular airline’s policies, consider traveling with a different company.
  • Make a note of your allergy while booking your flight reservation. Your information can be forwarded to airline employees, such as the gate agent and flight crew. If you have a nut allergy, some airlines will set up a nut free buffer zone around your seat while others may make the flight totally nut free.
  • Planes are usually cleaned at the end of the day, so try to schedule an early flight.
  • Bring your own allergy-friendly food. You may want to check with the airline to see if there are any restrictions in what you can bring onboard.
  • Check your seat and clean your area before sitting down for the flight. Cleaning up stray food particles can help you avoid an allergen coming into contact with your skin and causing a reaction.
  • Make sure your epinephrine auto-injector is with you on the plane at all times. It should not be placed in your checked luggage or put in the overhead bin. Read up on carrying medications onto a plane before your departure date.

Train Travel

  • If the train allows pets, request to be seated away from any animals onboard.
  • If there is a meal car, ask if the food staff can accommodate your allergy. If not, see if you can bring your own allergy-friendly food onto the train.

Overseas Travel

  • Keep an allergy card with you at all times. The card should list your allergy and what to do in case of an emergency. If you are traveling to a non-English speaking country, have your card translated into the local language.
  • Know the location of the nearest hospital. Research which hospitals are best suited to treat an anaphylactic reaction.
  • Research local cuisine to see if there are any regional dishes you should absolutely avoid while traveling.
  • If you will have access to a kitchen, you may want to bring non-perishable food that is safe for you to eat (for example, pasta).
  • Learn the words for your allergen in the local language. This will help you spot it on menus or on ingredient labels. 

Hotel Stays

  • Request a non-smoking, pet-free room. Make note of your allergy when making your reservations.
  • If you are not sure how to speak to a chef about your allergy, your hotel’s concierge may be able to call the restaurant on your behalf to explain your allergy to the chef.
  • If you are allergic to dust mites or if certain products like laundry detergent cause a reaction, consider bringing your own linens and pillow covers.

Going on vacation is a great way to take a break from your normal routine as well as de-stress. Traveling with allergies or asthma does have a unique set of challenges, but with the right amount of preparation, you can experience the same relaxing vacation as someone without allergies.

If you have any questions about managing your allergies while you travel, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help! Feel free to give us a call at 212-729-1283 or email us at

Would you like to see these tips in our latest infographic? Click here or on the image below.



Common Spring Allergy Triggers and How to Avoid Them

For many New Yorkers, spring just means warmer weather and beautiful flowers in bloom. However for the 19.1 million adults with hay fever, it also means sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, runny nose, and other irritating symptoms.

Every spring, trees and grasses release pollen grains into the air. These grains are light enough that they can travel in the wind. Flower pollen, on the other hand, is heavier and falls to the ground, and is therefore less likely to cause allergy symptoms. If flower pollen isn’t the cause of your symptoms, what is? Here are a few spring allergy triggers:

Tree Pollen: This includes pollen from tree varieties such as ash, beech, birch, cedar, cottonwood, elm, hickory, juniper, maple, mulberry, oak, pine, poplar, and willow, among others. Pollen can travel in the air for miles, so even if you don’t have trees in your neighborhood, their pollen can still affect you.

Grass Pollen: The grass pollens that can trigger the symptoms of spring allergies include Kentucky bluegrass, Bermuda grass, Johnson grass, rye grass, and orchard grass, among others. Typically in NYC, grass pollens make their way into the environment towards the end of the spring, and become the more predominant pollen in the summer.

Are you prepared to deal with spring allergies this year? Here are a few tips from Hudson Allergy on avoiding exposure to allergens and managing your symptoms:

Know when allergy season starts. Spring allergy season can begin as early as February if the weather is warm enough. Don’t wait until the middle of April to begin thinking about how to treat your symptoms. Make an appointment with your allergist and start treating spring allergy symptoms before they start.

See what’s in the air. Download a pollen tracker app. This app will help you keep track of pollen levels in New York and let you see what times of day are best for outdoor activities.

Limit your time outdoors. Staying inside on days with high pollen counts can help you avoid your allergy triggers. Unfortunately, this may mean avoiding some of your daily activities or turning down a few invitations to backyard BBQs.

Be aware of cross-reactions. Cross-reactivity happens when proteins in one substance are similar to proteins in another. For example, if you are allergic to birch pollen, you may also have a reaction to apples. Such a reaction is known as oral allergy syndrome.

Make time for spring cleaning. Regularly cleaning and vacuuming your home can help you eliminate allergens from your living space. You’ll want to use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to trap symptom-causing particles. In addition to cleaning, you can also make a few other changes to your home, such as keeping windows shut and using an air conditioner to keep cool.

Are you ready to deal with spring allergies? Our month-to-month guide helps you understand what might be triggering your symptoms during different times of the year. Don’t wait until symptoms are making you miserable to do something.

If you have any questions about managing your spring allergies, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help! Feel free to give us a call at 212-729-1283 or email us at


Seasonal Allergies: A Month-to-Month Guide to Your Allergies

Do you experience allergies year-round? Or, do your allergies seem to flare up for just a few months out of the year?

Common allergy symptoms include sneezing, nasal congestion, skin rash, runny nose, wheezing, coughing, and itchy, watery eyes, among others. You may associate your symptoms with “allergy season,” but what does that mean? Many people think that “allergy season” only occurs in the spring months when pollen is in the air. In reality, however, there is no one single “allergy season” that applies to all people with allergies. It really depends on what you are allergic to and where you live.

Someone with an allergy to tree pollen may experience allergy symptoms during the spring or summer when pollen is more prevalent, while someone with an allergy to dust mites may experience more symptoms during the cold winter months when more time is spent indoors. Your symptoms are related to exposure.

Here’s a month-by-month breakdown of when you’re most likely to come into contact with certain allergens:

January: Indoor allergens are more of a problem during the winter because more time spent inside your home also means increased exposure to things like dust mites, pet dander, and mold. You can reduce your exposure by eliminating these allergens from your home by keeping humidity below 40%, washing your bedding in hot water, and regularly vacuuming and cleaning your home. (Tip: your should use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.)

While it is relatively rare, some people may also experience cold urticaria, which is an allergic reaction to cold temperatures. It can cause hives, redness, swelling, and itching after you’ve been exposed to the cold.

February: Indoor allergens may continue to aggravate your symptoms in February. It is also possible to see tree pollen popping up around the U.S. in this month, even in the colder Northeast. Allergy symptoms may be caused by pollen from alder, maple, hickory, elm, and walnut trees, among others. Cedar trees also pollinate in the winter months (December through March). Tree pollen can cause the same allergy symptoms that are common in “spring allergies,” such as sneezing, congestion, and itchy, watery eyes.

March: With winter beginning to transition into spring, pollen will become more of an issue in March. In addition to tree pollen, pollen from weeds and grasses may also be an issue if spring comes early. Make sure you load up your favorite pollen tracker app onto your phone when March rolls around! Knowing the pollen count can help you plan your daily activities in an effort to reduce exposure to allergens (ex. exercising outdoors when pollen counts are low).

April: Make sure to make an appointment with your allergist and stock up on medications before April rolls around if you have a pollen allergy – April is the height of pollen production for many trees, grasses, and weeds. This can leave many people with seasonal allergies feeling pretty miserable. Remember to keep your windows closed to avoid letting airborne allergens into your home.

May: Tree and grass pollens are still a concern in May. You may also start to see more insects out and about, so stay alert if you are allergic to insect stings or bites.

June: Grass pollens like bermuda, oat, and rye are in full effect in June and can be affected by environmental changes, such as temperature and rainfall. If you haven’t experienced any symptoms from grass pollen yet, it’s likely you may start noticing symptoms during this month. As the temperature warms up you’ll probably want to spend more time outside, which means increased exposure to pollen. (Remember to check your pollen tracker app before you head outside.) You can avoid bringing pollen into your home by taking your shoes off at the door and changing your clothes as soon as you get inside. It’s also a good idea to shower before you go to sleep to avoid bringing pollen into your bed.

July: The month of July brings some good news with it: grass and tree pollen levels should start to reduce. Unfortunately, however, weed pollen may still be an issue and fungus and mold spores start to make an appearance. Mold spores can be found in damp environments, so check your bathroom and basement for any collected moisture or leaks.

August: Mold levels will begin to peak due to the hot, humid weather. Ragweed season also begins during mid August and it can be a difficult pollen to avoid – it has been found two miles into the atmosphere and 400 miles out at sea! The best course of action is to take your medications and avoid exposure.

September: Weed pollens continue to be a problem for allergy sufferers in September, and ragweed will reach its peak in the middle of the month. A single ragweed plant can produce billions of grains of pollen and some of that pollen might be around until the first frost of the season.

October: You might get some relief from your fall allergy symptoms during October, but there are still allergens hanging around. Increased rainfall can cause a growth in the production of mold spores.

November: Here’s something to be thankful for in November: ragweed season is on its way out! November is one of the better months for people with outdoor allergies as pollen levels decline during this month. However, as things get chillier and you once again start to spend more time indoors you’ll have to cope with mold, dust, and pet dander.

December: As in November and January before it, indoor allergies will be a concern in the month of December. Those with an allergy to dust mites may see more symptoms during December as holiday decorations are brought out of storage and anyone with an allergy to mold should be careful if they bring a living Christmas tree into the home as there could be mold spores on the branches.

Are you prepared for your own personal “allergy season”? The first step for preparing for allergy season is to be tested to learn what you are allergic to. Once you know what brings your allergy symptoms on, you can reduce or avoid exposure no matter what time of year it is.

If you have any questions about managing your allergies, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help! Feel free to give us a call at 212-729-1283 or email us at


Excited For New Year’s Eve? If You Have Food Allergies, Proceed with Caution If You’re Aiming for an Unexpected Kiss

Living with allergies, particularly food allergies, can be complicated, but with some advanced preparation and tips, you can enjoy a cheerful New Year’s celebration and kick the new year off right.

Here are some of our tips for your New Year’s Eve party:

Be careful when you kiss.
Ringing in the new year with a kiss is perhaps the best known New Year’s Eve tradition. But did you know it could have some nasty consequences for someone with food allergies? Unfortunately, there have been recent stories of people with food allergies having serious anaphylactic reactions after kissing someone with trace amounts of an allergen on their lips. So, before you pucker up, make sure the person you’re going to kiss hasn’t eaten anything that could give you an allergic reaction, such as peanuts or tree nuts. It’s important to know your allergy and communicate with your partner.

Talk to your host beforehand.
The best line of defense for any person with allergies is to know what situation you’ll be walking into. If you’re not hosting the big New Year’s bash this year you’ll want to get in touch with your host ASAP. Talk with the host about your allergies and get the need-to-know details about the event location and the menu. If you contact your host with enough advanced notice they will likely be able to get some recommendations for allergy-friendly dishes and take extra precautions when preparing food. You can also offer to bring along your own allergy-safe food, snacks, or drinks to the party. For example, if you have a gluten intolerance you may want to bring your own gluten-free beer. (Here are some of our favorites.)

Also, if you have cat or dog allergies and the party will be taking place in the host’s home, you can ask about pets in advance and set a reminder on your phone to take an antihistamine before you head to the party.

Make an action plan.
Don’t wait until the big night to think about your allergies. Take some time during the days leading up to New Year’s Eve to put together an action plan to deal with the worst-case scenario. Make sure to bring along the essential items you might need during an emergency, such as an EpiPen or your inhaler. You should also educate at least one other guest at the party on how to administer your medication if you are unable to do so yourself and be sure they know to call 911 after administering emergency medication. Remember, it’s better to have a plan in place and not need it versus not having a plan and regretting it. 

Watch for the signs of an alcohol intolerance.
Most people enjoy a few drinks on New Year’s Eve. Have you ever experienced flushed skin, nasal congestion, or hives after consuming an alcoholic drink? Or, have you ever experienced sickness after just one or two drinks? If so, you might have an alcohol intolerance. Most allergic reactions to alcohol are due to other ingredients (such as preservatives, grains, or yeast), not the alcohol itself. The most common symptoms of an alcohol intolerance include hives, redness, headache, nausea, runny nose, nasal congestion, vomiting, and the worsening of a pre-existing asthma condition. If you think you might have an alcohol intolerance, make an appointment with an allergist and skip the booze on New Year’s Eve.

Do you have a New Year’s resolution?

A new year can mean a fresh start for managing your allergies and improving your overall health. It can be a wonderful time of year, but New Year’s Eve can also be stressful for those trying to manage allergies. These tips can help you start the year off right.

If you have any questions about managing your allergies in the new year, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help! Feel free to give us a call at 212-729-1283 or email us at