Why Your Allergies Could Flare Up This Holiday Season

If you're experiencing allergy symptoms in December, the holiday season could be to blame.

"The fact is, it's a tough time of year if you've got allergies," said Dr. Mark Millard, medical director of the Baylor Martha Foster Lung Care Center in Dallas.

Allergies are usually associated with the spring, but doctors say December is actually one of the worst months for allergies because of triggers inside and outside.

Inside, many people put up holiday decorations, including artificial trees, that have been collecting dust for 11 months.

"They have these beautiful artificial trees but all year long, they've been accumulating dust," said Millard.

Live trees, meanwhile, can host mold.

Cold, dry air outside can make breathing difficult, and until temperatures drop below freezing, allergens such as ragweed may linger.

"You've got mountain cedar out there — it's wintertime, you can smell it in the air — but we've also still got ragweed because we haven't had a killing freeze. So you've got double trouble," Millard explained. "We need a killing freeze for all the weeds that are still out there and pouring out that pollen."

To help with this dust, experts recommend keeping ceiling fans off while setting up Christmas decorations.

"Before this winter season starts, say, 'OK, this is my plan,'" said Debbe Velasquez, who has asthma.

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