Scientists from Upstate Medical University in New York have discovered a range of health complaints including coughing, wheezing, lethargy and insomnia can be attributed to the Christmas tree.
If you’re feeling lethargic or having problems breathing, it might be down to your Christmas tree.
The condition, known as the Christmas Tree Syndrome, is caused from mould spores and was discovered by a team from Upstate Medical University after they noticed a peak in respiratory problems during December.
To test the theory, the researchers examined clippings from 28 trees, including needles and bark, and found 53 cases of mould.
70% of trees were responsible for causing symptoms like fatigue, chest pains, sinus congestion, itchy nose and shortness of breath.
Some forms of the mould can also cause long term breathing problems and conditions like pneumonia or bronchitis.
Dr. Lawrence Kurlandsky said he had seen patients who he believed had a clear link between their illness and their Christmas tree.
He told the Sunday Telegraph he usually recommends that people try to use an artificial tree instead.
If you’re not convinced he advises hosing down the tree in the garden and leaving it to try before bringing into the house and removing it immediately after Christmas Day.
Dr. Lawrence Kurlandsky said: “I explain that there are nicer places to be on Christmas Eve than seeing the doctor and to perhaps just not have a tree or an artificial one.”
The study, published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, also reported on other research which found that after a Christmas tree has been on display for two weeks the number of airborne mould spores increases from 800 per 35 cubic feet to 3,000.