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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

Local sinus center offers multiple testing options for people experiencing allergy symptoms

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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. John Stewart of Arizona Breathe Free Sinus & Allergy Centers elaborated on his office's allergy testing options in an interview with PHX Reporter.

"Allergies can be a constant struggle, especially out here in the Arizona desert and mountains," Stewart said. "We offer two types of testing here: blood tests known as RAST and a skin scratch test. With the scratch test, you get instant results, and a treatment plan can be coordinated immediately based on your individual test results."

According to WebMD, over 40 million Americans suffer from allergies year-round, and the holiday season can be especially triggering for allergy symptoms. Evergreen trees, wreaths, and other seasonal decorations can attract mold, which serves as a common allergy trigger.

While artificial decorations can be a welcome alternative, they should also be stored in dry containers to prevent the spread of mold found in damp areas. Both natural and artificial decorations can also attract dust, which sets off allergy and asthma symptoms as well.

GoodRx reports that the pine scent common in Christmas trees and other decorations can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms. The sap of pine trees contains a chemical called terpene, which is irritating to the eyes, nose, and skin. Flocking, or fake snow, commonly used to decorate trees, can also trigger allergy and asthma symptoms.

Allergies can be triggered by droppings from pests, including mice, cockroaches, and spiders. These animals prefer nesting in dark, damp locations, such as basements and garages, and often hide in decoration bins because they aren't frequently moved.

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

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