Birch (pollen)

Birch pollen means spring allergies. It floats in the air when birch trees bloom, causing watery eyes, runny noses, and sneezes. Stay ahead by checking pollen levels and keeping windows shut during peak season to dodge those spring sniffles!...

Birch (pollen)

Why test for birch pollen alllergy?

Finding out if you’re allergic to birch pollen is key to handling those spring allergy woes like sneezing and itchy eyes. Knowing exactly what’s up means you can get the right treatment, like antihistamines or allergy shots, and make changes to avoid pollen. It also lets you spot foods that might bug you due to Oral Allergy Syndrome.

Why are so many people allergic to birch pollen?

Many people are allergic to birch pollen because it’s similar to proteins in certain foods. This causes a food allergy reaction in people already sensitive to birch. This is called Oral Allergy Syndrome. Birch pollen spreads far because the trees are common and the pollen is light and travels in the wind. Climate change might make pollen seasons longer and worse for allergies.

What foods trigger birch pollen allergy?

Foods that commonly trigger reactions in individuals with a birch pollen allergy include:

Certain Fruits: Apples, pears, peaches, apricots, cherries, kiwis, plums, and bananas are known to cause reactions.
Some Vegetables: Carrots, celery, parsley, and bell peppers can trigger symptoms.
Nuts: Particularly hazelnuts, almonds, and walnuts.

These reactions occur because the proteins in these fruits, vegetables, and nuts are similar to those in birch pollen, leading the immune system to mistakenly react to them. The symptoms are usually confined to the mouth and throat, causing itching, tingling, or swelling, but can vary in severity. Cooking these foods can often prevent the allergic reaction, as heat alters the proteins enough that the immune system no longer recognizes them as a threat.

When are birch pollen allergies the worst?

Birch pollen allergies are worst in spring. In cooler northern places, they peak around April-May. In warmer areas, they can start in late March and last until June. High pollen levels in the air during this time make allergy symptoms worse. Dry, windy weather spreads pollen more, but rain can clear it temporarily. After rain, pollen levels may rise again.

Test(s) that measure/test for Birch (pollen)

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