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Allergies: Could your Christmas tree be a trigger?

Christmas Tree

With the holiday season rapidly approaching most of us will be thinking about getting a Christmas tree to bring the festive spirit into our homes. The trees are a source of joy for most but what about people who suffer from allergies?

The

humble Christmas tree may be a source of misery rather than joy for these unlucky folks. A freshly cut tree can be a major source of allergens including the obvious pollen, but also mold spores and dust. According to Allergy UK, the tree sap can also cause allergy symptoms in some people. If anybody in your household has allergies to any of these then you may have to plan carefully to avoid taking the fun out of Christmas.

 

Not all Christmas trees are the same of course so choosing a different type of tree might be all that's needed to prevent allergies from striking. Most Christmas trees are various types of fir but it's not unheard of for spruce trees, such as the Norway Spruce, to be used instead. Most allergy sufferers are allergic to specific types of pollen so picking a different type of tree can be a simple solution.

To avoid problems with mold growth it is obviously a good idea not to store the tree in a damp place for a long time before bringing it into the house to be decorated. If the tree seems damp when you buy it, try to dry it out in the sun or a garage for example.

You may think that an artificial tree would be the perfect solution when a member of your family has allergies but things aren't as straight forward as it may seem. Most people tend to store their artificial tree in a damp or moldy attic or garage all year. The end result is that your artificial tree may be even more troublesome for allergy sufferers than a real one.

So, remember to think about where you store your tree and give it a good wash before putting it up, whether it be real or artificial. These measures should ensure that allergens such as pollen, sap, dust and mold are reduced to a minimum.

If you keep all this in mind then there's no reason why allergy sufferers and non-allergy sufferers alike can't have a fantastic Christmas!

 

 

 

 

About: Matthew Hogg ("Maff")
Diagnosed with M.E./chronic fatigue syndrome aged only 11 years old and subsequently associated illnesses including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). Despite his own struggles he has constantly sought to educate and support others suffering from such "invisible illnesses" through his website, The Environmental Illness Resource. He fully recovered from MCS using his own approach and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutritional Health.