One person’s tradition is another person’s red, scratchy eyes. For some people, one of the holiday’s most iconic symbols does not bring season’s greetings, but rather season’s sneezings. Indeed, real Christmas trees create an allergen-filled environment that prevent many from enjoying the holidays’ full potential.  

In actuality, as many as 1 in 10 people are allergic to evergreen trees. But what exactly are they allergic to? It’s certainly not the tinsel or string lights. You may have already guessed, but the allergen culprit is the pollen found within those leaves so unchanging. That’s right, just like ragweed or other pollen pests, evergreens, especially mountain cedars, can wreak havoc on allergies. In fact, mountain cedars have been known to cause some of the worst seasonal allergic reactions around.

To make matters even worse, these Yuletide staples produce pollen in late November—just in time for folks to start cutting them down to stick in the living room! This pollen easily goes airborne and if it’s in your home, there won’t be many places for it to go.

Symptoms of evergreen allergies are similar to those of other airborne allergens, including itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing, and congestion. It’s important to know if you’re allergic to evergreen pollen and what steps you can take to prevent or treat your symptoms. Evergreens are related to the juniper plant. If you’re allergic to juniper, there’s a good chance you could be allergic to evergreens, too.

What Can Be Done?

Fortunately, if you or someone you know is prone to advent, onset allergies, there are a few things you can do to prevent getting your own big, red, cherry nose. Taking some of these steps will ensure you have yourself a merry, little, allergen-free Christmas.

The easiest way to prevent evergreen allergies is to opt for an artificial tree. “But it’s just not the same!” you might be thinking, and you’re right! Artificial trees look just as beautiful, but won’t leave you sneezing and sniffling. However, if you’re dead-set on having a real Christmas tree to rock around, there are some ways around the allergies issue. Again, the most common evergreen allergies come from the mountain cedar species. The good news is these aren’t a super-popular option for Christmas trees. Sticking to other species such as scotch pine or a lovely douglas fir are great alternatives with fewer allergens. And while pollen is the most common source of evergreen allergies, sap can also cause some discomfort. Another common source of irritation is leftover sawdust, if you chop down your own tree.  

Knowing how you’ll react to evergreen allergens is important for a number of reasons. The first is, obviously—your health and wellbeing. However, the holidays are a special time of year meant to be shared with family and friends, and having to deal with allergies simply gets in the way.

Next step? Try AllerEase’s extensive line of allergen-free and blocking products! They’ll help curb allergens throughout your home and ensure your holiday is both holly and jolly.