Any hay fever sufferer will be familiar with the classic symptoms: runny nose, itching eyes, you name it.
But for some, there’s another less predictable side effect, and it has all to do with your mouth. Besides pollen making your life difficult, you could also develop allergies to several common vegetables and fruits, from carrots to bananas.
If you ever eat certain fruit or veg – such as kiwis, celery or apples as well as a bunch of others – and notice a tingling sensation in your mouth afterwards, you might have ‘oral allergy syndrome’.
According to National Jewish Health, most people with the syndrome are also allergic to plant pollens as lots of certain fruit and vegetables have similar proteins to the ones found in them.
So your immune system connects the two together, resulting in something called ‘cross-reactivity’.
If it happens to you, it’s best to avoid raw foods during pollen season and take oral antihistamines.
Here are the vegetables and fruit that are common culprits:
– Apple, apricot, carrot, celery, cherry, kiwi, peach, pear, plum, almond and hazelnut and cantaloupe melon could spark a reaction from those allergic to spring tree pollen
– Honeydew melon, orange, tomato and watermelon from summer grass pollen allergies
– Banana, cantaloupe melon, carrot, celery, cucumber, honeydew, peach, watermelon and courgette from autumn weed pollen allergies.
Does the agony of hay fever know no bounds?
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