People with pollen allergies need to stay away from some foods. If you have allergic rhinitis in the spring or fall, you may not realize that you could also have oral allergy syndrome. When you have this syndrome, a cross-reaction with food occurs. Reactions are normally mild, but they can cause hives, nausea, or even anaphylaxis, a life-threatening whole-body reaction that requires emergency medical care.
Oral Allergy Syndrome
Some of the symptoms of oral allergy syndrome are similar to the ones that often occur when someone has a peanut allergy. These include an itchy mouth, itching on the face, and swelling in the throat. An allergist can help those with pollen allergies know if some of the foods that they eat are causing pollen-food allergy reactions.
An allergy skin test will show which types of pollen cause allergic reactions. Certain foods are related to particular pollens, so knowing which type of pollen you are allergic to is helpful. You will then know which foods to stay away from.
For example, if you are allergic to grass pollen, it is best to not eat tomatoes and kiwi. People allergic to mugwort should generally avoid apples, carrots, peanuts, celery, parsley coriander, caraway, anise, and fennel. Many people allergic to ragweed should not eat melon or bananas.
You may be one of the lucky ones who only have oral allergy syndrome during the peak time of your pollen allergy season. Other people suffer with it year-round. If your pollen allergies are severe, it is worthwhile to have allergy tests to see which pollen types you are allergic to.
Ways to Reduce Reactions to Certain Foods
Peeling the skin from fruit often helps to lessen the allergic reaction. Cooking fruits and vegetables is another way to avoid cross-reactions because of the chemical changes that occur when the foods are cooked.
People with moderate to severe pollen allergies are usually recommended to take over-the-counter antihistamines by their allergist. Taking this medication can also eliminate the symptoms of oral allergy syndrome if they are not severe.