Christmas Tree Syndrome

Dr. Simi Paknikar
Medically Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team  on Feb 03, 2016
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Perhaps the last thing we would like to hear this season is that there is an illness associated with Christmas trees! Yet, Christmas tree syndrome can be caused by the presence of a Christmas tree in an enclosed house.

What is Christmas Tree Syndrome?

Though the name given to the condition - Christmas tree syndrome - sounds frightful, thankfully, it is usually not much more than an allergy. Earlier, it was thought that the allergy was due to the pollen from the Christmas tree.

Christmas Tree Syndrome

Researchers have now found that the allergy results from exposure to certain mould that enter the house along with the tree and thrive in the warm environments. These could have been associated earlier with respiratory allergies. They could be a particularly significant problem in colder regions, where people cannot keep their windows open for adequate ventilation. Researchers found that the concentration of the spores increases to a more than sufficient level to cause a respiratory allergy if the tree is kept indoors for two weeks.

Symptoms of Christmas Tree Syndrome

The symptoms of Christmas tree syndrome are similar to other allergies. These include:

Christmas Tree Runny Nose

People with asthma could also suffer from an attack.

Christmas Tree Asthma

The symptoms may be particularly worse when the person is close to the tree. People who have a tendency towards developing allergy may be more susceptible and should watch out for such symptoms.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Christmas Tree Syndrome

A person who suffers allergic symptoms especially when he is close to a Christmas tree may be suffering from Christmas tree syndrome, though it may not always be possible to pinpoint the cause of the allergy in some cases.

Christmas tree syndrome is treated like any other allergy using antihistamines. People who suffer from asthma attacks due to the exposure should take anti-asthma medications.

Christmas Tree Anti Histamines

Prevention of Christmas Tree Syndrome

Of course, if you are allergic to Christmas trees, it does not mean that you will never see another Christmas tree in your house again. Some suggestions to deal with the problem are:

Artificial Christmas Tree
  • Use an artificial tree instead of a real one. Artificial trees look equally beautiful and do not cause the same allergy (unless, of course, if they are covered with dust). You may even be doing a good deed to the environment by opting for an artificial tree.
  • If you insist on a natural one, researchers suggest that you can wash down and dry the tree before it enters your house, and you should also get rid of it as soon as possible, preferably before a fortnight.

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