Seasonal sniffles: Christmas Tree Syndrome

U.S. & World

YORK, SC (NBC News) The Leyland Cypress trees at Penland Christmas Tree Farm in York, South Carolina have two benefits. 

They hold heavy ornaments well, but most importantly, they’re less likely to make you sneeze. 

“The Leyland Cyprus is classified as a non-allergenic tree,” explains Steve Penland.

For many people, the Christmas season leads to a lot of holiday sneezing. Allergists call it “Christmas tree syndrome.”

It’s mold spores that are to blame.

“Those spores will continue to grow and accumulate in the home the longer you have the Christmas tree,” says Dr. Patricia Lugar, an allergist and immunologist with Duke Health.

You can limit allergies by cutting short the amount of time you have the tree in your home and using an air purifier.

Or do what the folks at Penland Christmas Tree Farm do: Shake it off! 

“One of the things we try to do on all our trees that we sell on the farm is that we put them on our tree shakers and shake any of the grass or dead needles that are in the trees,” Penland says.

When it comes to artificial trees and other decorations, experts say we have to be cautious there as well.

If these items are stored someplace where they can collect a lot of dust, they say you may want to use a leaf blower or wipe decorations down before bringing them into your home.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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