Christmas just isn’t Christmas without that rich tree scent flowing throughout your entire home, but for some people, Christmas trees seem to cause major allergy issues. Are people really allergic to their Christmas trees? Well…maybe, but probably not. In this post, we’ll go over the basics of this seasonal allergy, let you know what to look out for, and give you tips on avoiding Christmas tree allergy symptoms altogether.
Causes of Christmas Tree Allergies
Even though your allergy symptoms start once the tree is up, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re allergic to the Christmas tree itself. Most allergies caused by putting up Christmas trees are actually reactions to things on the tree, such as dust, pollen, bug waste, and even mold! These are many of the same substances that cause allergies at other times of the year, but we just don’t think about the fact that our live Christmas trees (and sometimes artificial ones) can be covered in these allergy triggers.
Less often, the allergy symptoms are caused by the tree itself. Some people will develop a rash if they come into contact with the sap from a Christmas tree. Others may be allergic to the seeds produced by the tree, such as pine nuts on pine trees.
Christmas Tree Allergy Symptoms
The symptoms caused by Christmas trees mimic the symptoms caused by pretty much all allergens. If you start experiencing any of the following symptoms as soon as you trim the tree, then the holiday evergreen may be to blame:
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Excessive mucus production
- Itchy, inflamed skin
- Dark circles around the eyes
It’s important to note that people can develop allergies as they age to things that they were not previously allergic to. In these cases, the person will not have an allergic response to the allergy trigger during the first exposure. This is because the body needs time to develop an immune response to the trigger. However, once the person is exposed to the trigger for a second time, the immune response kicks in and allergy symptoms appear.
How to Avoid Christmas Tree Allergies
Now that you know what’s really causing your Christmas tree allergy symptoms, it’s time to talk about how to avoid them. Some basic allergy prevention techniques can do a lot to stop Christmas tree allergens from ruining your entire holiday. Some of our top tips from keeping Christmas tree allergens at bay include:
- Wear a mask and gloves while handling your Christmas tree
- If you buy a live tree each year, rinse it off and let it completely dry before bringing it inside your home
- If you use an artificial tree, keep it sealed in an airtight plastic bag or tote when not in use
- Inspect trees for rodents or pest infestations before unpacking or bringing inside
- Change out your air filters for hypoallergenic ones right before putting up the Christmas tree
- Use an air purifier in the room where the Christmas tree is located
- Dust off lights, garland, and ornaments before hanging them on the Christmas tree
- Dispose of live trees promptly after Christmas to prevent mold proliferation inside your home
Christmas Tree Allergy Treatment in Tampa Bay
Are your Christmas tree allergies just too much to bear this holiday season? Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates of Tampa Bay is here to help! We can help identify your allergy triggers and develop a personalized treatment plan to keep your allergy symptoms under control. Contact us at 813-971-9743 to schedule your allergy consultation appointment today!