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‘Tis the season for unwanted sneezes!

 

Are you finding yourself reaching for a tissue since setting up that Christmas tree? The sneezing, coughing and even wheezing you experience may not be a cold but the dreaded “Christmas Tree Allergies.”

Live and artificial Christmas trees are both potential sources of mold leading to allergy and/or asthma symptoms in those who are allergic to them.   Tree mold counts increase five times the normal levels after being brought inside.   Live trees also act as a source of pollens from weeds, grass, and trees which can be released into the air inside your home thereby triggering allergy and asthma symptoms.  Natural tree resins may act as possible airborne irritants.

Here are some helpful hints to manage these allergic triggers:

Live Christmas Trees

  • Wear gloves when handling a live tree.
  • Hose down the tree to remove pollen and mold.  Allow for drying time before taking it inside.
  • Keep live greenery inside for only the 12 days of Christmas.

Artificial Christmas Trees (Recommended)

  • Store in a sealed dry plastic container that can be wiped out as needed.
  • Store the sealed dry plastic container in a dry area to prevent dampness leading to mold growth and to keep it from accumulating dust.  Do not store it in a cardboard box.

Ornaments and Lights

  • Store in a sealed dry plastic container that can be wiped out as needed.
  • Wipe clean of dust or mold.

For those who don’t believe in artificial Christmas trees, remember:  the true spirit of Christmas is in your heart, not your tree!  🙂

Family Allergy & Asthma Care of Montana wishes you a blessed, happy, healthy, and safe holiday!

Sources:   http://health.usnews.com/usnews/health/healthday/071116/live-christmas-trees-can-trigger-mold-allergies.htm, http://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/allergies-during-the-holidays, http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/12/19/are-allergic-to-your-christmas-tree/, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5485790.

This educational information does not take the place of your physician’s advice.

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