If your asthma and allergy symptoms reappear this holiday season, your Christmas tree might be the culprit! Regardless of whether your tree is real or fake, experts say it could trigger asthma and allergy symptoms.
While evergreen trees do not produce pollen, they do tend to have mold on them, said Laura Esswein, a Mercy Clinic allergist with Mercy Children's Hospital. And as they grow, trees can collect pollen from other trees in their branches and needles.
"If you want to use a live tree, try to get it at a place that has a shaker," Esswein said. Aggressive tree shakers remove most of the allergens from the tree. When you get home, rinse the tree with a hose and leave it on the porch or in your garage for a week before bringing it inside, she advises.
Artificial trees can also become coated with allergens, Esswein said. Be sure to cover and store artificial trees in a dry place, and shake them out before bringing them into the living area. If you think your tree might have gotten wet in storage or if you have a damp basement, it's best to get a new tree, she said.
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