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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

Local doctor says newer treatments for allergy sufferers are simple and painless

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• Though many people suffer from allergies year-round, the holiday season can be especially triggering.

• Christmas trees, wreaths, and other decorations can collect mold and dust.

• The scent of pine from a fresh tree can worsen allergy and asthma symptoms.

Dr. Matthew Blair of Gulf Coast Breathe Free Sinus & Allergy Centers described the simplicity of new allergy treatments in an interview with East Panhandle News.

"There is sublingual allergy treatment now for certain allergens out there, where all you need to do is start taking a sublingual -- it’s a tablet, a dissolvable piece of paper that will absorb into your blood system, instead of getting an injection," Blair said.

WebMD reports that over 40 million Americans experience year-round allergies, and the holiday season can be an especially triggering time for allergy symptoms. Seasonal decorations, including evergreen trees and wreaths, can attract mold, which is a major allergy trigger.

While artificial decorations can be a good substitute, they should be kept in dry containers and areas to avoid getting damp and contaminated by mold. Also, both natural and artificial decorations can serve as hot spots for dust, which triggers allergy and asthma symptoms as well.

According to GoodRx, the pine scent commonly found in Christmas trees and other decorations can set off allergy and asthma symptoms. Pine tree sap contains terpene, a chemical that irritates the eyes, nose, and skin. Flocking, or fake snow often used to decorate trees, can also be an allergy and asthma trigger.

Allergies can be caused by droppings from pests, such as mice, cockroaches, and spiders. These animals like to live in dark, damp areas, such as basements and garages, and they tend to hide in decoration bins because they aren't moved too frequently.

If you'd like more information on allergy testing and treatment options, take this Sinus Self-Assessment Quiz.

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