The effects and symptoms of Christmas Tree Syndrome

 It lights up your eyes and warms your heart, but as you start to put up the Christmas tree in your home, you should know about something called Christmas Tree Syndrome.  It is a real medical condition that is preventable.

While you may manage allergy symptoms pretty well most of the year, symptoms to indoor allergens can really spike during the holiday season.

More than one-third of Americans will put up a Christmas tree this holiday season and for many, the Christmas decorating starts this weekend.

Doctor Frank Block said allergies can happen fast in only a matter of seconds.

“You get over close to the tree and you bend over to pick up a present under the tree and you get a lot more itchy eyes and a sneezy feel, then that’s a real good clue that’s an allergy,” said Dr. Block.

Dr. Block said within just two weeks of bringing a live tree into your home, mold counts can significantly increase.

“When the tree was first put up in the house, there were somewhere in the area of 800 mold spores per cubic meter, enough to cause little trouble, by the time they took the tree down in two weeks, there was 5,000 mold spores per cubic meter. It is a significant mold spore source,” said Dr. Block.

As for artificial trees even those can spark allergies.

“The big thing with your artificial trees if you’re using it again, there’s a lot of dust that collects on them, while they are stored in the attic unless you store them properly,” said Dr. Block.

The key is prevention – preparing now to keep your family healthy during this holiday tradition.

For live trees, Dr. Block suggests looking them over before you buy them.  Make sure the trunk feels sticky and the tree should have a dark green color, not brown.  As for the artificial trees, make sure you are storing them properly.  If not, you need to wash the tree down to remove the mold. 

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