‘Tis the season for sneezin,’ Christmas trees may be triggering allergies

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS)-– About 13% of people may be experiencing allergies through the holiday season all because we love our Christmas trees.

Experts say often it’s not the tree itself but what’s on it that can send you into a sneezing frenzy.

“So you have mold spores that are on there, dust mites that are on there or even other pollens that are kind of tracked on the trees, and then bringing that into your home causes the problem,” Maya Garfeh said.

A so-called “Christmas Tree Syndrome” isn’t exclusive to real trees. Artificial ones can cause just as many problems.

“Your fake tree that you store in the attic all year long is sitting in an area that’s probably pretty moldy, probably a little dusty so that brings all of that right to the center of your home where you’re breathing it in,” Garfeh added.

Researchers at the State University of New York found 70% of mold found on trees can lead to complications from sinus congestion to severe asthma attacks.

There are a few things you can do to help those allergies.

“If you’re buying a real tree, having them – at the Christmas tree farm – shake it off a little bit,” said Garfeh. “If possible, washing it off.”

You can do the same with your artificial trees, wreaths, and ornaments.

“That would be helpful for someone, they know they’re really dust mite allergic,” Garfeh said. 

A study at Upstate Medical University found 53 species of mold on 28 trees in 28 different homes. 70% of the samples were potentially harmful.

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