Millions of families will soon begin putting up and decorating a Christmas tree. If you find yourself with a constant sneeze, a runny nose and watering eyes, it may be time for you to identify your Christmas tree as the possible allergen. No one wants to spoil the holiday season so, let’s see what is it, how it’s caused and what can you do about it? Are people with asthma and allergies more prone?

Is it “The Christmas Tree Syndrome”?

Symptoms usually include runny noses, sneezing and itchy eyes, so similar to cold symptoms that people often mistake Christmas tree syndrome for that. Be alert to an allergic reaction, which can happen instantly or within the first two weeks of putting up a live tree.

Is it live trees or artificial ones?

Both. Let’s see how!! Well, the live trees you find at the tree farms spend their formative years in the great outdoors, giving them plenty of opportunity to gather various irritants such as airborne pollens, herbicides, fertilizers and molds that stick to the trees. These trees are then stored in moist holding areas prior to settling in your home which can then harbor undesirable mold spores. Bringing these trees to your home causes these same microscopic spores to float freely in your home. Infact, 70% of the molds found in live Christmas trees can set off reactions like severe asthma attacks, fatigue and sinus congestion. Artificial trees also contain their share of allergens. They too can harbor mold and dust after being stored in attics or damp basements all year long. They can also contain bugs and their droppings, which are also a common source of allergy irritation or severe asthma attacks and sinus congestion. In addition to this, the material that the tree is made from can be a source of the allergens.

What can be done to prevent flare of allergy or asthma symptoms?

  • Be alert to an exacerbation of your symptoms, which can happen instantly or within the first two weeks of putting up a live tree.
  • It’s advisable to wear gloves and long sleeves when bringing the tree indoors to avoid sap touching your skin.
  • Wash the tree and its branches with plenty of water prior to bringing it into your home.
  • After a good cleaning, let your tree sufficiently dry to prevent the growth of new mold.
  • With artificial trees, proper storage in an effort to avoid accumulated dust and dirt in a cool, dry space is important.
  • Always make sure to wrap your tree securely during the post-holiday season.
  • Wipe down the ornaments that go on the tree.
  • And go easy on the spray snow. Any aerosolized chemical can cause irritant reactions in the eyes, nose or lungs.

We, at The Allergy Group, wish you a Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with Peace and Happiness.