Most people with seasonal allergies can safely have surgery. However, they should tell their doctor about them beforehand to take the necessary precautions.

The main concern surrounding surgery for people with seasonal allergies is asthma. Some people with seasonal allergies have asthma, and research suggests that asthma is a risk factor for adverse respiratory events around the time of surgery.

Additionally, a doctor may instruct someone to stop taking certain allergy medications prior to surgery. Some medications can interact with anesthesia.

Read on to learn more about safety precautions during surgery for people with seasonal allergies.

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Seasonal allergies do not always prevent people from having surgery. However, it is important that they disclose all health conditions to their doctors.

A surgeon and anesthesiologist will decide whether to perform surgery based on someone’s individual case.

Some people with seasonal allergies have asthma, and allergies can trigger or worsen asthma.

Asthma is an important consideration for anesthesia and can be a risk factor for perioperative respiratory adverse events (PRAEs). These are respiratory issues that occur around the time of surgery.

Research suggests that people, especially children, with asthma have an increased risk of experiencing PRAEs. Identifying individuals with asthma and getting their asthma to the point of being well managed before surgery may help reduce risk.

According to a 2019 review, asthma that is not well managed is the main risk factor for bronchospasm, a form of PRAE. The same review suggests that effectively treating airway inflammation long term could help decrease lung complication risk during the time of surgery.

When someone is scheduled for surgery, it is important that they disclose any medications they take, including allergy medicines, to their doctor before surgery.

Having a cough or cold does not always mean a person needs to delay a scheduled surgery. A person’s doctor and anesthesiologist will determine whether this is necessary, so it is important that they alert their medical team to any symptoms before or on the day of surgery.

The common cold is an upper respiratory tract infection (URI). URIs are the most common reason for delayed pediatric surgeries.

According to a 2021 study, URI severity correlates with PRAEs in pediatric patients. Another study suggests that children should have no URI symptoms for at least 1 to 2 weeks before undergoing operations to reduce PRAE risk.

Preparation will vary based on the individual and their surgery.

Follow a surgeon’s specific preparation instructions. Preparing for surgery may include the following steps:

  • giving informed consent
  • asking the surgeon any questions
  • completing blood tests, scans, and other tests
  • stopping smoking if a person smokes
  • stopping eating or drinking for a certain amount of time before surgery
  • stopping taking certain medications and drugs for a certain amount of time before surgery

Someone scheduled for surgery should ask a doctor any questions they have about the surgery. If they are experiencing seasonal allergies or cold symptoms, they should make their healthcare team aware. They can ask if this will impact surgery.

Other potential questions to ask a doctor before surgery may include the following:

  • What is the recommended operation?
  • What is the reason for the operation?
  • Are there alternatives to surgery?
  • What are the benefits and risks of having the surgery?
  • What could happen without having surgery?
  • Where can I obtain a second opinion?
  • What is the doctor’s experience in performing the operation?
  • Where will the surgery be done?
  • What type of anesthesia is needed?
  • What are the details of recovery?
  • How much will the operation cost for me and/or insurance?

Seasonal allergies may not prevent someone from having surgery, depending on their specific needs and situation.

The surgeon and anesthesiologist will determine whether someone can have surgery with seasonal allergies, so it is important to make them aware of any conditions and symptoms.

Research suggests that identifying patients with asthma and properly treating and managing the condition before surgery may help minimize potential adverse health effects.