What's Your Allergy — Pollen, Food or Fragrances?
Trees, flowers and grass send tiny particles into the air called pollen, meaning it's allergy time. Symptoms such as runny nose, nasal congestion, watery or itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing and itchy nose or throat sound like a cold. If it's fall, there is a good chance you're dealing with seasonal allergies. Don't automatically blame the trees if you have itchy eyes and trouble breathing though.
Many people are allergic to the sulfites found in some foods. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says one out of 100 people are allergic to sulfites. They are found in wine, grape juice, soup mixes, dried fruit and canned vegetables. Symptoms include skin redness, tingling in extremities and airway tightening — usually shortly after eating or drinking.
If you are affected by sulfites, be sure to read ingredients on the food label. Avoid dried fruits that look fresh picked which is a sign of a preservative. Choose U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified organic wines, which do not contain sulfites.
Perfume and cologne
One more problem can be linked to men's and women's fragrances. Some people suffer from fragrance allergies. They don't even have to wear the fragrance to suffer. Just being near someone can set off an allergic reaction ranging from rhinitis – swelling in the sinuses and throat, causing sneezing and nasal discharge -- to asthma attacks.
Those affected are irritated by the chemicals rather than allergic to them. The only way to prevent this is to avoid these products as much as you can. If you use them, keep in mind: less is more.
Sources: Mayo Clinic, WedMD