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Christmas trees and asthma
A Christmas tree allergy can cause wheezing, sneezing, coughing and a sore throat. It can also lead to serious asthma attacks.
Real Christmas trees like cypress and pine can collect high amounts of pollen from other plants before they are cut down, which can trigger asthma and hay fever symptoms once you bring them home.
Artificial trees can also cause problems if they gather dust, dust mites, or even mould in storage.
What you can do
Limit triggers in your live tree:
- Hose down live trees before bringing them into the house. This will help to wash off the pollens.
- Move your tree outside if you notice increased symptoms.
Limit triggers in your artificial tree:
- Give artificial trees a good shake outdoors before putting them up inside.
- Unpack your tree and decorations outside if you can. Vacuum them as you get them out of the box.
- Wipe down your tree, wreaths, garlands and ornaments with a damp cloth to remove the dust.
- Use airtight plastic bags and sealed boxes when you pack your tree and decorations away.
If your symptoms start:
- Follow the written asthma action plan you developed with your doctor.
- If you don’t have an action plan, take four separate puffs of a blue/ grey reliever
- If the symptoms aren’t going away or are getting worse, follow the steps in First Aid for Asthma as needed.
- Remember to take your medication with you and use it as advised by your doctor when you’re out and about during the festive season.