Hay fever may be worsened by eating fruit and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables can make hay fever symptoms worse due to something called oral allergy syndrome. According to Allergy UK, about 72% of people suffer from hay fever for about two months of the year, but people could be provoking hay fever symptoms all year round due to eating certain fruits and vegetables. Proteins in fruits and vegetables are similar to pollens from trees, weeds and grasses, and it is these that the body mistakes for allergens. Oral allergy symptoms are different to the classic itchy eyes, runny nose and sneezing of hay fever, including tingling of lips, throat and mouth, and occasionally swelling of these areas too.

Research reveals that 40% of hay fever sufferers also react to nuts, fruits, vegetables or spices.

Recognised associations between pollens and food allergies

Source: Allergy UK

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First Published April 2012

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