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Beating fall allergies

Have cold-like symptoms that never seem to go away? Your congestion, running nose, watery eyes and constant sneezing may not be coming from the common cold virus – you could be one of the millions suffering from fall allergies. Goldenrod, curly dock, lamb’s quarters, ragweed, sheep sorrel, and sagebrush all sound like friendly, harmless names but they are actually the pollinating plants causing your seasonal discomfort. Other things like molds and tree pollen can contribute to you getting allergic rhinitis or hay fever.

The fall weed season lasts from mid-August through October. High pollen counts are expected this season as a result of the hot and dry summer. Ragweed pollen is an extremely potent allergen. Experts say that 3.8 million days of work or school are missed each year due to ragweed allergy symptoms. Continue Reading »

Oral Allergy Syndrome

With various types of plants coming into bloom this time of year, many of us are consumed by allergies. But what most people are unaware of is that foods and pollen allergies can actually affect one another. Certain foods, like the ones listed below, can react similar to pollen to the body’s immune system and provoke an allergic response.

For example in the springtime, with the substantial amount of tree pollen, it is common for me to see patients who complain of an itchy mouth when eating certain foods. For instance, apples can sometimes cause these symptoms during tree pollen season.

Oral allergy syndrome, an allergic reaction in the mouth, is another common form of IgE-mediated food allergy, which is an immediate hypersensitivity reaction. If you experience an oral allergy syndrome, you will immediately notice when you have a bodily reaction and connect the incident to a certain food you have just eaten, which means you may rarely seek medical attention. These local IgE-mediated reactions result in an immediate swelling of the lips, tingling of the tongue and throat, and blistering of the oral mucosa. Symptoms usually are short-lived and most commonly associated with eating various fresh fruits and vegetables that cross-react with their specific allergic pollen, causing post-nasal drip and congestion. Continue Reading »

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