Fruits and veggies, air filters, spring breezes, procrastination and self-medication - each can delay relief from a stuffy nose, sneezing, sniffling or other symptoms if you're one of the more than 35 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies.
"People with spring allergies often don't realize how many things can aggravate their allergy symptoms so they just muddle along and hope for an early end to the season," said Myron Zitt, M.D., past president of the ACAAI. "But there's no reason to suffer. A few simple adjustments in habits and treatment can make springtime much more enjoyable."
The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) and its allergist members alert people with spring allergies to be on the lookout for these five things that can aggravate suffering.
1.Noshing on fruits and veggies - Many people with seasonal allergies also suffer from pollen food allergy syndrome (also called oral allergy syndrome), a cross-reaction between the similar proteins in certain types of fruits, vegetables (and some nuts) and the allergy-causing pollen. One in five people with grass allergies and as many as 70 percent of people with birch tree allergies suffer from the condition, which can make your lips tingle and swell and your mouth itch. The trick is to determine which problematic produce is causing your symptoms and then avoid eating it, (although you might be able to eat it if it's peeled, cooked or canned). If you're allergic to birch or alder trees, you might have a reaction to celery, cherries or apples. If you have grass allergies, tomatoes, potatoes or peaches may bother you. Usually the reaction is simply annoying and doesn't last long. But up to 9 percent of people have reactions that affect a part of their body beyond their mouth and 1.7 percent can suffer a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock. If you've had a systemic reaction, you should see an allergist and ask whether you should carry injectable epinephine. Visit www.AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org to find an allergist near you.