Puffy, swollen eyes, itchy skin and a runny nose are all indications of allergic rhinitis which is commonly called as hay fever. Allergic rhinitis typically manifests due to an allergic reaction to a particular substance such as cat dander or pollen that enters the nasal passages. Nevertheless, there are also other causes of allergic rhinitis including food allergies.
Allergic rhinitis typically manifests once a particular substance such as dust or pollen which is called an allergen enters the body, usually via the nose. The immune system of the highly sensitive individual reacts by releasing immunoglobulin E (IgE). This is an antibody that initiates the release of histamine as well as other chemicals that causes the inflammation of the mucus membranes, thus resulting to nasal congestion, watery eyes and runny nose. Take note that these reactions are aimed to flush out the allergen which the immune system perceives as a threat to the body.
Since the reactions of allergic rhinitis are usually an effort to provide protection to the nasal passages from potential allergens, it seems not likely that this reaction can be triggered by food allergies. In reality, however, some individuals end up with allergic reactions after handling raw potatoes especially when preparing them in the kitchen.
Take note that these reactions include itchiness and other skin symptoms but also wheezing and congestion which are common symptoms of allergic rhinitis. The similar symptoms can also occur among highly sensitive individuals who handle other types of fruits and vegetables including celery, apples and carrots.
Individuals who are suffering from allergic rhinitis as part of their food allergies are typically sensitive to other types of pollen including birch. The proteins in the uncooked foods are strikingly similar to the allergens present in birch pollen, thus causing the immune system to release IgE and start the inflammation. Take note that food allergy can be linked to an existing pollen allergy and instigates a similar reaction.
Always bear in mind that allergies could not be cured, but it is possible to treat the symptoms that manifest. Antihistamines work by inhibiting the action of histamine by preventing it from triggering inflammation. As for decongestants and corticosteroids, they work by alleviating the stuffiness and itchiness due to the inflammation.
The individuals who suffer from allergies end up with a reaction to specific foods in the past must avoid these foods. In case of birch pollen related food allergies, the sensitivity is more on the raw food. As for cooked vegetables, they do not trigger the same reaction.
Once an individual is suspected with an allergy, it is best that he/she should undergo treatment so that the exact cause is determined. In addition, appropriate treatment can be given to help ease the signs and symptoms that manifest.