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Do you feel like you’re allergic to the holidays?

Sanford Health and Fairview Health Services Announce Intent to Combine. Read More
‘Tis the season for feeling allergic to the holidays. Maybe you’re sneezing and coughing while setting up the Christmas tree. Or your eyes itch when the family lights the menorah or other holiday candles.
In some cases, your seasonal allergies are being aggravated by mold and pollen hiding on the tree you brought home from the farm.
Dr. Nana Fenny at Sanford Health in Bismarck, North Dakota, suggests hosing down the tree. In cold weather, though, simply letting it sit in the garage for a day will dry out a fresh tree enough to kill the mold.
On the other hand, artificial trees can be covered in irritating dust mites. These trees need a good cleaning every year. Fenny also suggests washing seasonal stuffed animals annually.
Doctors say reactions to scented candles are probably not a true allergy. But, like millions of people, you might have fragrance sensitivity.
Symptoms can be similar to allergic reactions, and may include:
Another possible cause for your feeling of being allergic to holidays is idiopathic environmental intolerance (IEI), which means your body reacts to certain common substances. Also not a true allergy, researchers haven’t found a direct cause for this condition.
Synthetic and natural substances are known to trigger IEI, formerly known as multiple chemical sensitivity. That’s why you might react to both the fresh cut tree in your house and the fake one at your mom’s apartment. Other environmental triggers can include:
Research suggests avoiding your triggers. An over-the-counter allergy medication might help alleviate symptoms.

Posted In Bismarck, Ear, Nose & Throat, Healthy Living


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