Posted by: juliegriffey | December 17, 2012

It’s Not Allergy Season, So Why Am I Sneezing?

Allergic to your Christmas tree?

Allergic to your Christmas tree?

When I was a kid, every year on August 15th I began to sneeze.   In fact, the onset of sneezing usually served as a reminder that it was the middle of August and school was starting again.  But as soon as the first frost came, the sneezing subsided and allergy season was officially over until the following fall.   Fortunately thanks to the availability of Zyrtec and the natural phenomenon of “growing out of your allergies” I have desensitized myself to my mid-August suffering.

So now it’s mid-December and I’m hearing that people are experiencing allergy symptoms similar to what I used to experience in August: “itchy eyes, a runny nose, scratchy throat or even wheezing and difficulty breathing.”  Would could the culprit possibly be?  Could it be your Christmas tree?

Some Christmas trees may still have pollen on them, which could of course could trigger pollen-related allergies.  But more than likely the issue is mold.  Christmas trees are often stored in a cool, damp environment which is superior for growing mold.  To get rid of any remaining mold on the tree, before bringing it into your house, hose down the Christmas tree and allow it to dry.  This should reduce the amount of mold left on the tree.  Also, consider getting your tree early before it has been sitting around awhile in the Christmas tree lot acquiring mold.

Already have the tree in your house and suspect you might have brought some mold in with it?  Well – I don’t have any great solutions besides my favorite: Zyrtec and a good eye drop like VIVA Drops.  And as soon as the holidays are over… get that tree out of your house.



  1. Good point, Julie!!
    People that have this issue might also want to consider the option of an artificial tree. I’m actually allergic to pine and cedar trees (as well as most of the other trees native to Missouri). We tried having real trees for a while, but the residual pollens on the tree, and the tree sap (I break out in a rash if the sap gets on me) caused enough of a problem that we went back to artificial.

    Also, any allergy symptoms experienced at this time of year could be contributed to being couped up indoors with dust mite allergens for longer periods of time. My allergist recommended to me: dust & vacuum/sweep often, replace pillows every 6 months, wash bed linens AT LEAST weekly, & use the zippered kind of pillow & matress covers that help keep allergens to a minimum. It helps if your vacuum or household has a good filteration system, but if not, emptying your vacuum outside and up-wind should be sufficient.

    • OH, and keep those allergens off your eyeglass lenses (and away from your eyes!) by using a good lens cleaner & soft cloth, like our AR Kleen or Zero Fog (both are anti-static), and one of our beautiful microfiber cloths.

  2. Its a great idea considering more people are allergic this year but please keep in mind that Viva Drops are on B/O

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