While most people associate allergies with the spring and fall, thousands of people suffer from holiday allergens, specifically those that we bring into our homes as we decorate trees and gift poinsettias to friends and family. Here are a few of the most common holiday allergies that afflict people this time of year, and how to fend them off.

Pine Tree Allergies

If you’re a stickler for real trees at the holiday, you may be surprised to find that they are the cause of your Christmas tree allergy symptoms. Those who have a pine tree allergy actually may be suffering from one of two different allergens present on their trees. People who are sensitive to pollen during the spring and early summer also may be sensitive to pine tree pollen.

On the other hand, some people are allergic to pine nuts. This allergy is less common, but may appear in those who are allergic to other tree nuts. If you believe you are having symptoms related to your Christmas tree, you may want to consider the switch to an artificial tree. Keep in mind that burning fire wood also can cause reactions due to smoke and bringing wood into your home.

Food Allergies

The holidays are a time when many of us attend potlucks and other parties full of exciting foods. Unfortunately, if you have known food allergies it can be difficult to navigate the smorgasbord. Longtime favorites like pecan pie and holiday cookies are known for increases in allergic reactions during the holidays. Be careful what you eat and always ask if you are unsure about the ingredients.

Pet Allergies

Your furry friends also may be a culprit in your allergy issues during the holidays. Most animals go through a period of adjustment as their winter coats grow in. The additional fur and dander in the air can cause reactions even if you live with your pet just fine the rest of the year. The best way to handle this is to keep your animals well-groomed and be prepared with allergy medicine if you start noticing symptoms.

American Sinus Institute

As the holidays draw nearer, we invite you to speak with a specialist at the American Sinus Institute if you are worried about allergies interrupting your celebrations. Our minimally invasive balloon sinuplasty procedure can provide relief from many debilitating seasonal allergy symptoms, and time to recover is typically brief. Contact or visit our locations in Houston and San Antonio to learn more.