Allergies at Christmas, how to prevent and fight them

Allergies at Christmas, how to prevent and fight them

Christmas trees, scented candles, detergents can cause a number of nuisances in allergy sufferers. Tips to avoid them

The annoyances that Christmas can bring to allergy sufferers are many. Don't just think about food. Open the dusty boxes of the Christmas decorations, put your hands back to the jealously guarded figurines of the Nativity scene, live in a totally "sealed" home to better control the microclimate ……. well, all these elements, and even the Christmas fir, can trigger red eyes, sneezing repeatedly, stuffy nose. And not just for mites.

Watch out for the tree spores and scented candles

Some time ago a group of researchers from the University of Connecticut did a really curious and interesting study. The protagonist is the classic Christmas tree. Or rather its spores, which can potentially induce respiratory allergies in those who are predisposed to suffer from rhinitis.

Scientists led by Philip Hemmers have checked the amount of spores present in some houses day by day, from Christmas Eve to the Epiphany. In the first three days of detection, the number of spores was practically normal, and remained well below the index of 1000 per cubic meter, which is considered acceptable. But from the fourth day, the enemies started to grow to 5000 spores per cubic meter after two weeks.

In practice, therefore, who is allergic is likely to find himself with sneezing and stuffy nose right towards the end of the holiday period. So it's not always about viruses when the nose closes and the cold progresses.

Then pay attention to the gifts you receive or to the fumigations that you put in the rooms to create a "made to measure" environment for an unforgettable evening. Scented candles, even if in particularly predisposed people, could in fact release substances capable of giving way to sneezing and the like, forcing us to continually resort to the handkerchief. Similarly, for those who are allergic, a potential enemy can be soaps and detergents found under the tree. They may contain substances that may be used to give aroma and perfume to the soap, but they can cause contact dermatitis with redness and itching.

Here are the tips to limit the risks

  • The spores of the Christmas tree accumulate over time and grow up to the Epiphany. For allergy sufferers, they can create a series of discomforts, from rhinitis to asthma.
  • Beware of scented candles: they can release substances capable – albeit rarely – of giving way to coughing, sneezing and difficulty breathing.
  • Watch out for cleansers: they may contain chemicals that can trigger itching, the appearance of redness and other symptoms affecting the skin.
  • The moss used for the crib or as the base of the tree can become a receptacle for dust and therefore create problems for those who are allergic.
  • When you remove the tree, remember to put the decorations inside tin or plastic containers, avoiding the cardboard that holds the dust.
  • Control humidity: mites are made up of 50 percent water and in a humid environment they proliferate more quickly.
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