Dashing through the mold

Christmas tree allergies are about as welcome as the Grinch

Is your Christmas tree making you sick? If mold spores make you sneeze, your living Christmas tree could be triggering your allergies.

Once a pine tree leaves the forest and lands in your living room, it may be festooned with mold along with ornaments, tinsel and lights. A 2007 study presented to a scientific meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAA) found that bringing a live Christmas tree into a home can significantly increase indoor mold counts.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, inhaling or touching mold spores may cause a reaction in people who are allergic to them.

Symptoms of the allergy — known as Christmas tree syndrome — include:

  • Runny nose
  • Congestion
  • Red, itchy eyes
  • Skin rash

The study suggests replacing your natural tree with an artificial one or opening a window for several minutes each day to help prevent allergic reactions.

But if your Christmas tree already has you looking like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, it may be time to turn to a professional for help, according to Rachel Alexander, APRN, Norton Community Medical Associates – Telemedicine.

“It’s important for your physician to help you determine whether you are suffering from allergies or something more, such as a cold or the flu, and provide the right treatment,” Alexander said.

However, if you don’t have time to see your primary care provider between decking the halls, you can schedule a nonurgent visit through Norton eCare.

Available through MyNortonChart, Norton eCare allows you to choose between two types of convenient online visits: a video visit or an eVisit.

Find more information on Norton eCare or schedule a day or evening appointment today through your MyNortonChart account.


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