It’s a scene right out of an old movie — heading off into the hills with the kids to cut down a Christmas tree for home. Doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center, though, say if you choose the wrong tree, you could make the holiday season miserable.
About one in 10 people are allergic to mountain cedar pollen, and these trees release their pollen just at the time you'd be bringing them indoors to decorate. If someone in your home is allergic to mountain cedar pollen, they're in for weeks of sneezing and sniffling.
Fortunately, this is only a risk for people who like to go out into the wild and cut their own trees. The Scotch pines and Douglas firs you find at most Christmas tree lots or cut-it-yourself Christmas tree farms don't pollinate during the winter.
But Dr. Dave Khan, a UT Southwestern allergy expert, says you may still face some allergy issues.
“Anything brought in from outdoors is likely to bring mold spores with it,” Dr. Khan says. “A lot of people are allergic to mold. You can have a live tree treated with fungicide to kill off the mold spores.”
If you have allergy sufferers in your family, Dr. Khan says an artificial tree may be your best bet.
Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/allergy to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services for allergies.
Media Contact: Erin Prather Stafford
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