There's nothing quite like the smell of a fresh cut Christmas tree. That is, unless it makes your nose run and your eyes turn red. For many allergy sufferers, real trees are a source of discomfort during the holidays, even if the tree itself isn't to blame.
That's right. Very few people actually have an allergy to the tree itself, according to the American Academy of Asthma and Immunology. For some people, the tree's piny fragrance may be irritating, but in most cases the offending allergens probably hitched a ride on the tree.
Trees spend years gathering pollen, dust and mold spores while standing vigil on tree farms and in the forests. When you chop one down and take it home, you drag those allergens into your house.
The Academy recommends letting real trees dry in a garage or enclosed porch for a week and giving them a good shake before bringing them inside.
Another option: If you sneeze or wheeze around Christmas trees but still want one, get someone else to set it up and decorate it in a room that you don't frequent. Or set it up on a porch or in the yard.
Unfortunately, the problem isn't just related to real trees. Where and how you store an artificial tree--and other holiday trimmings--can exacerbate allergies, too. That's because these items also collect dust and grow mold spores.
Wash and dust decorations and artificial trees outside before decorating. To remove dust and mold from festive fabrics, wash them in hot, soapy water.
Taking these simple steps can help you enjoy the season--Your sinuses will be jollier for it.
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