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Christmas trees can be cause of seasonal sneezes

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No, it’s not an extreme fear of festive decorations and Santa Claus, writes Alan Shaw.

Christmas Tree Syndrome is a common allergy to a variety of airborne allergens that can get lodged in your tree and cause seasonal sneezes.

Decorating the Christmas tree is usually a fun, family occasion, but not if you’re unlucky enough to suffer from CTS.

A team of scientists analysed clippings from 28 Christmas trees, including needles and bark, from a range of species and found an unbelievable 53 different types of mould.

Pollen from other trees also gets lodged in the bark, and all these allergens combined can provide a powerful trigger for those that are sensitive.

Even artificial trees can harbour dust that may trigger a reaction.

If your Christmas tree doesn’t get you, you could still end up with the sneezes and sniffles if you’re sensitive to pet or dust allergens because we spend a lot more time indoors exposed to these allergens at this time of year.

Airborne allergens expert and creator of the HayMax allergen barrier balm, Max Wiseberg, has some useful suggestions to help sufferers of CTS.

He says: “Hose down your tree before taking it into the house, or after getting it out of storage, as this can help remove some of the mould and spores.

“Mind you, it’s probably best to get someone who isn’t allergic to do this.

“Take care when you’re decorating your tree as allergens will be disturbed as you move it into position and move the branches to hang the decorations and position the lights.

“Finally, put your tree up as late as possible to help minimise the risk of exposure to mould.”