MIAMI, FL – December 12, 2013 – The classic symbol of the holiday, a Christmas tree, may cause uncomfortable allergic reactions, bringing wheezing, and sniffling rather than holiday cheer.
If mold is your nemesis, you may want to opt out or consider switching to artificial decorations. While many blame the tree or its possible irritating fragrance for their holiday allergies, it’s actually the mold spores on the trees that trigger asthma or allergies, causing symptoms like sneezing or an itchy nose. The mold is found on the trees naturally but flourishes and rapidly spreads once inside centrally heated homes.
If a live tree is a must, try hosing the tree down before bringing it inside, to get rid of existing spores. However, although fake greenery can help reduce allergy symptoms, it is important decorations are stored in dry containers so it does not get damp and grow mold as well as accumulate dust, which can also lead to allergies.
” Tis the season to be sneezing. The combination of mold spores and the potentially irritating fragrance from the fresh Christmas trees and wreaths can be aggravating your allergies. If you know that they bother you but still prefer to have fresh Christmas trees and decorations to liven up your homes, be sure to talk to your allergist so you don’t have to suffer all season long,” stated Sharlene Llanes, M.D.
Fragrances, whether in candles, plug-ins or sprays are a driving force among consumers. The global market is expected to reach $8.3 billion in 2015. Because scent sells, each year we see a larger and more complex selection in fragranced products. Repeated exposure can bring on symptoms like wheezing, respiratory issues, watery eyes to headaches that can really become an issue when in common areas such as the workplace or visiting a friend or relative.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), fragrances are considered the leading cause of cosmetic contact dermatitis affecting more than 2 million people, and studies suggest that sensitivity is on the rise.
Scented candles and air fresheners emit VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, which are chemicals that form a gas or vapor at room temperature, a US News and World report said. The VOCs present in air fresheners often include formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, limonene, alcohol and esters. High concentrations of VOCs can trigger eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, and even memory impairment.
For those airborne fragrances that trigger allergies, experts agree that reducing exposure is key. Nasal antihistamine and nasal corticosteroid medications can effectively control allergy symptoms caused by these sensitivities. However, the best medicine is staying clear off fragrances and keeping it out of your environment.
Another way you can control the situation is to have a conversation with your friends and co-workers to avoid wearing or using heavily-fragranced products around you to prevent your allergy symptoms, or consider scent-free products if at all possible.
For more information on Florida Center For Allergy & Asthma Care, please visit www.florida-allergy.com or call 1-877-425-5374.
Florida Center For Allergy & Asthma Care has been in business since 1974 and has board certified physicians with extensive experience in treating both adults and children. FCAAC has 18 centers throughout South Florida, serving communities in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. The Centers specialize in the testing and treatment of adults and children who suffer from allergies, asthma and other disorders of the immune system. Among the most common allergies treated are allergic skin diseases, food, drug and pet allergies. Florida Center For Allergy & Asthma Care Research conducts clinical trials on new medications. The goal of the FCAAC team is to provide professional and quality care resulting in total patient satisfaction. Please visit www.florida-allergy.com or call 1-877-425-5372 for more information.
Eloise E. Rodriguez
Bristol Public Relations