Protecting yourself from Christmas tree allergies - KCTV5

Protecting yourself from Christmas tree allergies

Posted: Updated:

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) Their size, shape, color and, of course, their distinct smell are the first things that come to mind when picking the perfect Christmas tree. But those beautiful Christmas icons can also contain allergens that will leave you sneezing this holiday season.

"The first issue is the tree itself, even though they've been cut and it is winter, they still have pollen probably with certain trees," said Dr. Dennis Rhoades of Doctors Care. "But, on top of that the trees can have mold associated with them because they've been in damp environments, been watered and outside so you're bringing a source of mold inside as well."

Christmas trees spend the majority of their lives in the outdoors until they are uprooted to be sold and brought home. The trees are often harvested for purchase well in advance of Christmas and stored in moist holding areas, vulnerable to grow mold, according to the American Christmas Tree Association.

While the tree's beauty is in plain sight, the mold can be microscopic and often times unnoticeable. "Especially with Christmas trees, the types of evergreens, their needles' positions make it hard to examine if there is mold," Dr. Rhoades explained.

Allergic reactions can cause itchy eyes, a runny nose, scratchy throat or even wheezing and difficulty breathing. Molds can even trigger Asthma for those with the condition. The effects allergies have on your body also make you more prone to contracting viruses, Dr. Rhoades said.

"So one of the big issues is if you do have allergies to mold or significant allergy problems, should you even consider a real tree?" Dr. Rhoades questioned.

If you cannot imagine the holidays without a real spruce in your living room there are ways to protect yourself from severe effects.

Taking over the counter allergy medicines before bringing the tree home can lower the chances of severe problems, Dr. Rhoades suggested.

"Over the counter products are good for allergies, if they aren't working they have inhalants or nasal sprays and steroids that can help people out," Dr. Rhoades said.

Hosing the tree down with water before taking it into your home and waiting for it to dry before bringing it inside can also help reduce effects of tree-related allergies, according to the American Christmas Tree Association.

If the thought of fighting allergies is enough to make you sick, artificial Christmas trees may be the better alternative. Artificial trees that are stored properly, safe from collecting dust or growing mold, can help you enjoy a sneeze free holiday season.

"We recommend artificial trees, no issues with mold, unless of course your tree is old, stored in your attic several years and bringing in the dust element," Dr. Rhoades explained.

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Charles Manson, leader of murderous cult, dead at 83

    Charles Manson, leader of murderous cult, dead at 83

    Monday, November 20 2017 3:17 AM EST2017-11-20 08:17:04 GMT
    In this 1986 file photo, Charles Manson is seen in court. Authorities say Manson, cult leader and mastermind behind 1969 deaths of actress Sharon Tate and several others, died on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. He was 83. (AP Photo, File)In this 1986 file photo, Charles Manson is seen in court. Authorities say Manson, cult leader and mastermind behind 1969 deaths of actress Sharon Tate and several others, died on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. He was 83. (AP Photo, File)

    Charles Manson, the hippie cult leader who became the hypnotic-eyed face of evil across America after orchestrating the gruesome murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others in Los Angeles during the summer of 1969, has died.

    More >

    Charles Manson, the hippie cult leader who became the hypnotic-eyed face of evil across America after orchestrating the gruesome murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others in Los Angeles during the summer of 1969, has died.

    More >
  • Two 23-year-olds from KC killed in crash on 45 Highway in Platte County

    Two 23-year-olds from KC killed in crash on 45 Highway in Platte County

    Saturday, November 18 2017 9:11 PM EST2017-11-19 02:11:16 GMT
    File photo. (AP)File photo. (AP)
    The Platte County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a crash that killed two people and hospitalized one on Saturday. The crash happened around 4:30 p.m. on 45 Highway near the Westside Drive intersection, which is north of Iatan. The initial investigation revealed that a silver 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis was headed northbound in the southbound lane, trying to pass someone, when it crashed head-on into a 2007 Toyota Rav 4 that was headed southbound. The Marquis’ driver a...More >
    The Platte County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a crash that killed two people and hospitalized one on Saturday. The crash happened around 4:30 p.m. on 45 Highway near the Westside Drive intersection, which is north of Iatan. The initial investigation revealed that a silver 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis was headed northbound in the southbound lane, trying to pass someone, when it crashed head-on into a 2007 Toyota Rav 4 that was headed southbound. The Marquis’ driver a...More >
  • Station: Video shows nurses laughing as 89-year-old dies

    Station: Video shows nurses laughing as 89-year-old dies

    Monday, November 20 2017 8:02 AM EST2017-11-20 13:02:01 GMT

    An Atlanta television station says video secretly recorded in a nursing home in 2014 shows nurses laughing while they try to start an oxygen machine and an 89-year-old World War II veteran dies.

    More >

    An Atlanta television station says video secretly recorded in a nursing home in 2014 shows nurses laughing while they try to start an oxygen machine and an 89-year-old World War II veteran dies.

    More >
Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.