Almost 1 million Norwegians struggle with “Christmas allergies,” with symptoms reminiscent of coronavirus

Christmas decorationsPhoto: Gorm Kallestad / NTB
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More and more Norwegians are struggling with “Christmas allergies.” Several of the symptoms can be confused with the symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as corona.

The proportion of Norwegians who get allergy-like symptoms at Christmas is increasing. 

According to a new survey, 960,000 Norwegians have a “Christmas allergy,” which is around 200,000 more than in 2019, according to a survey conducted by the analysis agency YouGov for the Allergy Guide.

A “Christmas allergy” means that people get allergy-like symptoms to decorations and scents we normally surround ourselves with at Christmas. 

The things that most often cause irritation are, among other things, Christmas trees, Christmas plants, and incense.

The symptoms

The symptoms are usually a stuffy and runny nose, sneezing, and itching in the eyes, but the Allergy Guide’s study also shows that many people experience an itchy nose, as well as runny and red eyes.

Several of the symptoms can be confused with respiratory infection symptoms, such as the common cold, seasonal flu, or coronavirus, but there are differences.

“While a respiratory infection often passes after a week or two, allergic symptoms will persist if you remain exposed to irritants. 

“Fever is another sign that you have a respiratory infection and are not allergic because fever is not a common symptom of allergy,” Dr. Anders Østrem, a specialist in general medicine, notes.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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