NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It may feel a little warm for it, but the holiday season is getting going.
Some people have even set out decorations and gotten a Christmas tree, and as CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez explained, others may be sneezing and rubbing their eyes — that’s right, some people are allergic to the holidays.READ MORE: COVID Vaccine 'Mix-And-Match' Study Finds Moderna Booster After J&J Single-Shot Produced Major Increase In Antibodies
Wreaths, candles, and a beautiful tree are all part of the holiday spirit, and for some people a season of allergies.
“Itchiness, nose itches, sinus, a lot of sneezing, headaches,” Suzette Millare said.
Millare isn’t alone — with every allergy season, allergists know what to expect.
“A spike in people complaining of respiratory symptoms, skin allergies, and itchy eyes related to holiday exposure,” Dr. Clifford Bassett said.
The biggest culprit is the icon of the season — the live Christmas tree. Actually, it’s not the tree itself, but what it brings with it.
“When the trees are outside, mold spores are dormant. Bring it inside, and they start to germinate like popcorn. Within 10 to 14 days you have 100 to 200 percent more mold spores than you previously did,” Dr. Bassett said.READ MORE: Supply Chain Issues: 'There Really Are Problems Everywhere,' Even For Small Companies
Going artificial won’t solve your troubles. Last year’s decorations are also probably moldy and covered in dust from being stored in an attic or basement all year.
You may have heard that poinsettias are poisonous. That’s a myth — but the sap can be irritating, and if you’re allergic to latex, poinsettias will cross react setting off a rash.
Even those wonderful smells that tell us it’s the holiday season can be troublesome.
“Fragrances, flowers, potpourri are irritants. They irritate the lining of the eyes, nose, and respiratory passages and drive people crazy,” Dr. Bassett said.
So what’s a sufferer to do? Wipe down your decorations before putting them up and store them in airtight containers in a dry place when you take them down.
Air cleaners can also help some. The best at scrubbing tiny mold spores are called hepa filters.
Other allergy triggers are hidden ingredients in holiday foods at all the parties and family gatherings.MORE NEWS: Woman In Critical Condition After Being Struck By Sanitation Truck In Dyker Heights, Brooklyn
If you have food allergies, make sure to tell your host and ask what’s in their food. And if you know you have holiday allergies, see a doctor to prepare before the season.