More than one-third of American households will put up a Christmas tree during the holiday season. Shortly there- after, many may begin experiencing suspicious symptoms mimicking seasonal allergies. This can include sneezing, a runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes. If you have any of these symptoms, don’t panic, you’re not allergic to Christmas, although it may feel as though you are. You might, however, be allergic to your Christmas tree. Enter Christmas Tree Syndrome.
What Causes Christmas Tree Syndrome?
Christmas Tree Syndrome is an allergic reaction to your Christmas Tree. Researchers at the State University of New York found that 70 percent of the molds found on live Christmas trees can cause severe asthma attacks, fatigue, sinus congestion and more. Now you might be thinking that can’t be because I have an artificial tree, however, both live and artificial trees can cause Christmas Tree Syndrome.
Christmas Tree Syndrome can be prevented by limiting exposure to the allergens found on the trees. This procedure differs for both artificial and real Christmas trees.
What are the Symptoms of Christmas Tree Syndrome
- Itchy Nose
- Watery Eyes
- Problems Sleeping
- Dark circles under the eyes
How to avoid Christmas Tree Syndrome
- Keep hands and arms covered to prevent touching the sap.
- Wear a mask if you have asthma or are allergic to dusts, mold and pollen
- Prior to putting it up, shake and wash the tree with water to remove any mold.
- The tree stump should also be soaked in water to prevent future mold.
- If you have allergies but can’t resist having a live tree, keep it in the house for no more than a week.
Yep, you could also, though not as often, be allergic to an artificial tree. Here are some tips:
- Be sure to store your artificial tree properly during the off season – wrap the tree securely, store in a cool and dry place and avoid storing in places that accumulate dust, dirt or mold.
- Wipe or vacuum down the tree before putting it up in your home.
- Wipe down any ornaments before decorating the tree.
- Go easy on the spray snow to frost your windows —, or the “fresh pine smell”. Any aerosol chemical can cause irritant reactions in the eyes, nose or lungs as well.
AFC West Hartford is here to keep you healthy this season!
If you’re Christmas season is off to a miserable start because of your Christmas tree, there are options besides going directly from Thanksgiving to New Years. Call us at 860-986-6440 or come in, no appointment needed. We are located at 1030 Boulevard, West Hartford, CT. We’re open 7 days a week and will be happy to help you! We accept most insurances!