If you find yourself "coming down with something" during the holidays, it may not be the flu or a common cold. Your malady might be associated with that big green thing with the lights and ornaments on it.

No, we're not talking about your drunk uncle. We're talking about your Christmas tree.

According to research from SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, Christmas Tree Syndrome is a real thing. It also goes by the acronym CTS and brings asthmatic and respiratory issues.

So, if you find yourself sneezing a lot or having difficulty breathing, you may have CTS. According to an article by Fox 8 in New Orleans, here are some measures you can take:

  • "Wear long sleeves and gloves when handling the tree. You could be allergic to the sap.

  • Use a leaf blower to remove visible pollen.

  • Wipe down the trunk of the tree with a solution of one part bleach, 20 parts lukewarm water.

  • Spray the whole tree with water, then let stand in an enclosed outdoor area to dry.

  • Dust off the decorations – They’ve been stored away for 11 months in garages, basements, or attics which are known hangouts for mold and dust mites, which carry allergens. Wipe those decorations off thoroughly with a damp cloth when you take them out of storage.

  • Check with the nursery where you buy your tree. Some have tree washing services available.

  • Don’t leave the tree up too long. Some evidence suggests the longer the tree is in the house and the warmer the environment, the more spores are released into the air."

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