Are Christmas Trees Making You Sick? - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Are Christmas Trees Making You Sick?

Toni Biggs loves Christmas, and this day, she isn't picking out a tree, rather branches.. "What do I do...I take the branches and I put them inside the fake tree so that I can have a little bit of smell, I'll put up with that much sneezing just so I can have a little bit of Christmasy."

Biggs, like many others, has an unlikely allergy...her Christmas tree. It's all because of pollen and mold. Dr. Tracy Bridges, a local Allergist says, "Usually the patients come in and say it all started right after Thanksgiving when we brought the live tree into the house and that's when we started having the problems."

Unfortunately for Biggs, it's not just sneezing or congestion. "I get a terrible rash, my face, my body, as I get around the stuff, it starts to come up, I itch, it's awful." Doctors say there is one type of tree that doesn't pollinate...these are branches from the Leyland Cypress..and if you're not in the mood to sneeze all Christmas, take a look. but, Dr. Bridges warns, even artificial trees can cause an allergic reaction. "If trees have been in the attic for 11 months out of the year, then are brought back down."

Toni Biggs says she's satisfied with her fake tree and live branches, although sometimes she feels a bit like a grinch. "Oh, it's depressing at first, but it's been pretty much my whole life, so I kind of fell like an outsider sometimes."

Dr. Bridges advises before bringing a live tree inside, or an artificial tree from the attic, spray it down with water, let it completely dry outside and then bring it in to decorate it.

-By Ashley Nix

anix@wtvm.com

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