Christmas Tree Syndrome! Yes -- it's a thing! Could your Christmas tree be making you sick?
Research published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology show respiratory illnesses peak around Christmas.
If you’ve been sick every December and are a die-hard fan of the cherished evergreen, this consumer alert is for you.
Dr. Heather James -- an allergist at Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Specialists in Huntsville, Alabama says she sees several patients this time of year who are dealing with symptoms consistent with "Christmas Tree Syndrome."
“People usually take a little time before they figure out that they are having issues and symptoms every time they bring the tree in,” said James.
These symptoms include runny noses, sneezing and itchy eyes -- so similar to cold symptoms that people often mistake Christmas Tree Syndrome for that.
Sometimes the reaction takes awhile to set in.
Within two weeks of bringing a live tree into a home, mold counts can rapidly rise.
Soon, you may suffer severe asthma attacks, fatigue and sinus congestion.
It's hard to believe that could all stem from a tree, but you won’t know if it’s the tree -- until you try something different.
Yes, that means trading in a live fir for an artificial tree.
“I have survived with my artificial tree for many years,” said James.
If you're determined to keep that real Christmas tree, consider washing it down and letting it dry before bringing it into your home.
CLICK HERE for more on Christmas Tree Syndrome via the American Christmas Tree Association.