'Christmas Tree Syndrome' could be to blame for winter allergies - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

'Christmas Tree Syndrome' could be to blame for winter allergies

(KFVS) -

Sneezing and congestion could put a damper on your holiday season.

And one holiday decoration you might not want to do without could be the worst offender. You can actually blame the Christmas tree.

It's called Christmas Tree Syndrome.

Joannie Smith knows a thing or two about Christmas trees.

"Thirty-five years I've been doing this,” she said.

She's what you would call a "tree expert," passionate about the hundreds of Fraser Fir's she finds homes for each year.

"I want you to walk in the door and be dazzled,” said Smith.

Whether you cover your tree with pink ornaments or go outside the box with a less traditional tree, your living room centerpiece could do more than just fill your home with holiday cheer.

"There are some people who have a reaction, whether that is a runny nose kind of thing,” Smith explains.

Christmas Tree Syndrome can cause sinus congestion, asthma and even fatigue.

Mold being the biggest culprit.

Smith says properly taking care of your tree can help your symptoms.

"It is just like anything else, some people need to avoid them but it's not that common,” said Smith.

Experts recommend spraying your tree with a mild bleach solution or take an antihistamine.

Even the fake ones can trigger a reaction but Smith says nothing beats the real thing.

"A smell can take you back more than any of your senses and smelling a fresh Christmas tree when you walk in a room; it's just Christmas."

Experts say to wear gloves and long sleeves when bringing the tree indoors.

Also, spray the branches with water before bringing it into your house to remove some of the pollen and mold.

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