AUSTIN (KXAN) — The holiday season is finally upon us and Central Texans are starting to pull out their old ornaments and decorations.
However, as you begin draping the tinsel and wrapping the garland, there is something to be aware of – a new seasonal health issue allergists call Christmas Tree Syndrome.
Christmas Tree Syndrome refers to how people are affected by the mold found on Christmas trees and ornaments. Many people keep holiday decorations in garages and attics for months. Those areas are prime breeding grounds for mold and dust mites which can cause several different allergic symptoms.
“If you have asthma mild, moderate or even severe you’d have to be very careful,” said allergist Dr. Fadi Alkhatib. “Allergies, regular allergies to mold, you know will have more congestion, rhinitis, watery eyes, itchy, sneezy, as well as maybe some a topic dermatitis or eczema, you might have a flare if you’re allergic to mold.”
Additionally, the air can be kept clean by avoiding scented, petroleum-based candles that produce soot and irritating particles. Poinsettias can be problematic as well for people allergic to latex. Experts recommend wiping down all holiday decorations before setting them up.