Is Your Christmas Tree Making You Unwell? Here's What to Do

December 1, 2023

During the holiday season, over one-third of American households adorn their homes with a Christmas tree. However, shortly after the festive display, many individuals may find themselves experiencing suspicious symptoms reminiscent of seasonal allergies—sneezing, a runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes. If you're encountering these symptoms, don't fret; you're likely not allergic to the holiday season itself but rather to your Christmas tree, introducing the concept of Christmas Tree Syndrome.

Christmas Tree Syndrome? Yes, that’s a thing. AFC Urgent Care New Bedford had a guide for you! This guide will help you understand what “CHristmas Tree Syndrome” is and how you can take measures to prevent it. 

Can Christmas Tree Syndrome Be Prevented?

The positive news is that the effects of Christmas Tree Syndrome can be mitigated by minimizing exposure to the allergens present on the trees. Here are some tips to reduce allergens on your tree and ensure an enjoyable holiday season:

For Live Trees:

  • Cover hands and arms to avoid direct contact with sap.
  • Prior to set up, shake and wash the tree with water to eliminate any mold.
  • Soak the tree stump in water to prevent future mold growth.
  • If you have allergies but can't resist a live tree, limit its time indoors to no more than a week.

For Artificial Trees:

  • Store your artificial tree properly during the off-season: securely wrap it, store in a cool, dry place, and avoid locations with dust, dirt, or mold accumulation.
  • Wipe or vacuum the tree before placing it in your home.
  • Clean ornaments before decorating the tree.
  • Use caution with spray snow or "fresh pine smell" aerosols, as any chemical can cause irritant reactions in the eyes, nose, or lungs.

Symptoms of Christmas Tree Syndrome:

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Itchy Nose
  • Watery Eyes
  • Fatigue
  • Problems Sleeping

What Causes Christmas Tree Syndrome?

Christmas Tree Syndrome stems from an allergic reaction to your Christmas Tree. Research from the State University of New York reveals that 70 percent of molds on live Christmas trees can induce severe asthma attacks, fatigue, sinus congestion, and more. Whether you have a live or artificial tree, Christmas Tree Syndrome can manifest.

To prevent Christmas Tree Syndrome, it is crucial to limit exposure to allergens on both artificial and real Christmas trees. If your Christmas season is marred by discomfort due to your tree, there are alternatives to improve your holiday experience.

Contact AFC Urgent Care New Bedford Today!

If you suspect that Christmas Tree Syndrome is affecting your holiday enjoyment, reach out to AFC Urgent Care New Bedford. We can help assess whether your tree is the culprit or if there's a more serious underlying cause for your symptoms, such as a cold or the flu. Our location is open and ready to assist you throughout the holiday season.

We're available seven days a week, and we happily accept most insurance plans. Feel free to drop by without an appointment or schedule one at your convenience; you can also reach out to us by phone. Take advantage of our user-friendly online payment system, allowing you to check in and out with ease. Wishing you a delightful holiday season and good health!

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