As Britain enters hay fever season, pollen from trees and plants, especially birch, is beginning to cause major problems for allergy sufferers across the country.
Yet, according to Allergy UK, certain foods can actually make hay fever symptoms 'worse'.
During National Allergy Week, the national medical charity reveal almost 40% of hay fever sufferers also react to one or more of nuts, fruit, vegetables or spices.
In a statement, the charity point out that the protein found in certain hay fever-related pollens is similar to that found in some foods, which could put hay fever sufferers at risk from another allergic condition, oral allergy syndrome.
Lindsey McManus, Allergy UK, explains: “Fifteen years ago oral allergy syndrome was considered unusual but now it is increasingly commonplace. The condition is caused by the proteins in some fruit, nuts, vegetables and spices triggering a cross-reaction in someone with hay fever. When they eat a food that shares similar proteins as the pollen, it can cause an allergic reaction, such as, an itchy mouth, swelling or tingling of lips and tongue.”
With 15 million Brits suffering from seasonal allergic rhinitis or hay fever, the arrival of spring already signals months of misery. But a quarter of sufferers (24%) didn’t even realise that foods could also trigger a reaction.
The research from Allergy UK also revealed more allergy sufferers react to pollen than anything else. But if you seek solace indoors, the home could inadvertently trigger an allergic reaction, with house dust mite being a top three allergen.
This National Allergy Week, the charity reveals the top five allergens affecting the nation:
- House dust mite
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