AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s the most wonderful time of the year, unless you suffer from allergies. And your Christmas tree could be making your symptoms worse!
We wanted to settle the debate about which is better for allergy sufferers, a real tree or an artificial tree so we reached out to Sunny Kallmer, a PA at Texan Allergy, for a verdict. As it turns out, it’s complicated and depends on your particular situation.
If you are really passionate about having a real tree, Kallmer says you’re in luck, standard allergy tests cover Pine and Cypress trees, two of the four most common types of live Christmas trees you’ll find in this part of the country. If you’ve been tested, you’ll know if you’re allergic to those types.
The other two types sold regionally are Fir and Spruce, which are not considered to be as high as an allergen.
“The ultimate best, if you want a real tree and if you know what you’re allergic to,” Kallmer says, is to wash your tree when you get home. So grab your hose, spray it off and let it dry overnight.
If you know Spruce or Fir trees bother your allergies, you should probably rock a fake tree.
If you’re on Team Artificial Tree, you should know the dust that comes with storing an artificial tree can be just as detrimental to allergy sufferers as a real tree.
You can wipe your faux tree down with a damp cloth to remove any dust or mold spores. Just be sure to unplug the tree before you get to work.
If you just can’t bring yourself to erect a manufactured tree, there’s one last ditch idea Kallmer suggests for tree lovers:
“You can set it up outside, near a window or a patio” so you can still see it and get a bit of cheer.
One thing you should be on the lookout for is a connection to your new tree and any allergy symptoms that crop up among your family members.
“If a child is acting sick, has swollen, red eyes, or is congested, if you think they may have a cold and they started exhibiting symptoms around the time they got a Christmas tree,” Kallmer says, you should consider testing your child for allergies.