Am I Allergic to this Christmas Tree? The Wonderful World of Winter Allergies

Christmas_Sneeze.jpgIt’s the most wonderful time of the year - sparkling lights, festive decorations, and beautiful Christmas trees almost everywhere you go. So why does it seem like you might have a cold? It's not allergy season after all . . . or is it?

Allergies can happen at any time of year, but when it comes to the holiday season allegory symptoms can catch you off guard because allergens can appear where you least expect.

Many people love the smell of a fresh evergreen in their home at Christmas, and while there’s a certain beauty to a “real” tree there’s also a host of possible allergy triggers. Real trees tend to bring in mold spores and pollen, which then circulate through the air in your home. Some people are also sensitive to the compounds in the tree sap. All of these allergens can trigger a reaction.

So is a fake tree better? In a sense, artificial trees can be a safer alternative for allergy sufferers, but they can also create allergy issues. If not stored carefully, artificial trees can quickly accumulate dust, become a haven for dust mites, or release chemicals used in the manufacturing process.

Does this mean that you have to give up having a Christmas tree? No. Shaking off the tree outside, using a leaf blower, or wiping or hosing down your tree before bringing it inside can help reduce the allergy impact significantly. Wearing gloves and a mask is also a good idea while you prepare it to bring indoors. Also take time to dust and clean ornaments and other decorations prior to decorating your home.

If you do still experience some allergy symptoms during the holidays, take note of what you were around and what your symptoms were. Over the counter medications can also help you get through the holidays while still enjoying a fresh tree, or your favorite artificial one. Happy holidays!