How real Christmas trees could be making your sick

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Your Christmas Tree Could Be Making You Sick

Christmas Tree Syndrome! Yes - that's a thing! Are you enjoying your fresh fir this year?

Well it turns out, that scented housemate could be Scrooge in disguise. Respiratory illnesses peak around Christmas, according to research published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

If you've been sick every December and are a die-hard fan of the cherished evergreen, this consumer alert is for you.

Doctor Heather James is a local Allergist at Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Specialists in Huntsville. 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 a while 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. 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 a fake.

"I have survived with my artificial tree for many years," said James.

So take it from Doctor James, and pay attention to your symptoms. That live tree, could in fact be making you sick! And if you're determined to keep the tradition, consider washing the tree down and letting it dry before bringing it into the house.

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