published Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Ask a Doctor: Can you have allergies in other than the spring, summer and fall pollen seasons?

Q: Can you have allergies in other than the spring, summer and fall pollen seasons?

A: If you've worked your way through the spring, summer and fall pollen season, many think allergies are not a problem in December. However, some people continue to have symptoms at that time of year from dust mites, molds, cats, dogs or other animals and allergens, though the cause may be less obvious. As an example, Christmas trees are often blamed for allergic symptoms, and this is partly true. Christmas trees do not give off pollen, but they do harbor mold. Most trees are cut and then stored where mold grows readily so that by the time they are moved into your house, they are full of mold. If the location where you buy a tree this coming December has a machine to shake off the excess needles, this can be helpful in removing mold as well. Allowing a tree to stay on the porch for a few days also can aid in the process.

-- Dr. David "Curt" Chaffin, Allergy and Asthma Group; member, Chattanooga Hamilton County Medical Society

Readers: To submit a question for a medical doctor, email it to Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com. See this space each week for answers.

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