Now that Thanksgiving has past, many of us are thinking of getting our annual indoor Christmas tree. Some people seem to have the tradition of trimming their tree immediately after Thanksgiving, while other people wait until just before Christmas. For people with allergies and asthma, however, the question seems to not be "when" they should get a Christmas tree, but "if" they should get a Christmas tree. For many years, people with allergies and asthma have shunned the idea of having a live Christmas tree in their homes. Surely the presence of a live, fragrant pine tree would wreak havoc on their allergies and asthma, left to suffer for weeks while the non-allergic members of the family enjoy the tree. But, do allergic people really have to settle for an artificial tree in order to prevent allergic misery? Maybe not. Following a few simple steps can minimize even the most allergic person's symptoms that may occur as a result of an indoor Christmas tree. These steps include throughly washing off the Christmas tree (and allowing it to dry) before bringing it indoors, and minimizing the amount of time it's kept indoors to prevent the growth of mold spores. Medications may be required for the most sensitive of people, especially when the fragrance of the tree is the problem, but this might be a worthwhile short-term tradeoff if it means having a beautiful, live Christmas tree indoors for the Holidays.
Think your allergies and asthma get worse once you bring that fresh pine tree indoors during the holidays? It may be more than just your imagination. People for years have suspected that along with that fresh pine scent, an indoor freshly-cut Christmas tree worsened allergy symptoms, but the reason wasn't completely clear. Possibilities included pollen, mold spores, dust mites from dusty ornaments and other Christmas decorations and strong odors emitted from the Christmas tree.
Think your allergies and asthma get worse once you bring that fresh pine tree indoors during the holidays? It may be more than just your imagination. People for years have suspected that along with that fresh pine scent, an indoor freshly cut Christmas tree worsened allergy symptoms, but the reason wasn't completely clear. Possibilities include pollen, mold spores and strong odors emitted from the tree. Share your experiences with Christmas tree allergies, and any solutions you've found to overcome your allergies and still have a Merry Christmas.
Mold has well-known associations with human disease. People can develop fungal infections of various types, especially those with poorly functioning immune systems. Fungi are also known to produce toxins, which have been blamed for causing various diseases. Molds can also cause severe immune reactions as a result of colonizing (living in, but not causing an actual infection) the lungs (hypersensitivity pneumonitis) and the sinuses. Molds are also well known to cause various allergic diseases, such as allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma.