Experts from National Asthma Council Australia warn of dangers of ‘Christmas tree syndrome’ | Review of northern beaches


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Have you noticed that your asthma is getting worse this holiday season?

Your Christmas tree could be to blame.

Experts from the National Asthma Council Australia have warned that putting up your beloved Christmas tree could actually cause ‘Christmas tree syndrome’ – an allergic reaction that causes wheezing, sneezing, cough, sore eyes, and potentially serious asthma attacks.

But it’s not just real Christmas trees that could cause allergic reactions, experts say artificial trees have their own dangers.

Real Christmas trees like cypress and pine can collect large amounts of pollen from other plants before they are cut, which can trigger asthma and hay fever symptoms once you bring them home. House.

Artificial trees can also cause problems if they accumulate dust, mites, or even mold during storage.

National Asthma Council’s Sensitive Choice program director David Furniss said most people don’t know that real Christmas trees can harbor pollen and trigger symptoms of asthma and hay fever.

“Pollen can have a big impact and make your asthma symptoms worse,” Furniss said.

“Artificial trees can be a safe alternative but, if used year after year, they accumulate dust, mites and even mold during storage.

“Even the most exciting part of the Christmas tree tradition – decorating – can also put you at risk if the decorations in storage have become dusty.

The National Asthma Council Australia has given these tips to help you avoid wheezing and sneezing during the holiday season:

  • Live Christmas Tree in Your Home – Water your living tree before bringing it into the house to help flush out allergens. If you notice an increase in asthma or allergy symptoms, move your tree outside.
  • Artificial Christmas Tree in Your Home – Shake it well outside before putting it inside. Unwrap your tree and decorations outside and vacuum them as you take them out of the box. Wipe down your artificial tree, wreaths, and ornaments with a damp cloth to remove dust.
  • When storing your tree and decorations, use airtight plastic bags and sealed boxes so that they collect less dust.

Mr Furniss said that if you have asthma it is important to be aware of your asthma triggers and manage them if possible.

“You should also continue to follow the written asthma action plan that you developed with your doctor,” he said.

“Make sure you have your medications with you and take them according to your doctor’s advice, even if you’re partying over the holiday season or on vacation.”

The weather in La Nina this year is also causing problems for those with hay fever and asthma due to the association of high grass pollen counts and heavy rainfall.

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