More Than Just Peanuts And Pollen

By Heather Legg

We all know the large number of people allergic to pollen and certain foods (peanuts, soy, wheat are some of the biggies), but what about all the other culprits sneaking around out there. Many of them you may not even be aware of. Strawberries are making their way up the allergy ladder, with more and more being wary of as well as allergic to them. I’ve also been hearing of beans, like lima and fava beans causing allergic reactions.

Here are some more common allergens that may make a sneak attack:

Lemons and limes: limonene is a compound in limes and other citrus which can give watery eyes and a burning sensation in the nose. It can happen when touching, eating or drinking the substance.

Stuffed animals: Dust mites love them! Wash them in hot water if possible, keep them on a shelf not the bed (if your child allows it!). If they’re not washable, every few weeks put them animals in large plastic bags and put them in the freezer for a few hours. The cold will kill the mites.

Candles: It’s the scented oils, not the smoke that causes allergic reactions like watery eyes or runny nose (this always happens to my mom). People with perfume allergies will be more susceptible to candles (and other scented things like air freshener). The more added scents, the more likely to be allergic. Try a single scented candle, like vanilla, as opposed to a multi scented  one like ocean breeze. If you just want the ambiance and not the scent, buy unscented candles.

Perfume: same as candles, the more heavy the scents, and the more of them, the more chance of allergic reaction like headaches and sneezing. Ask co workers to be light with their scents and as for you, lotions may provide you with nice scents without being overpowering and causing reactions like perfumes.

Soaps and detergents: Once again,it’s the scents in them, not the powders or chemicals. Buy organic or unscented; there are more and more brands available.

Carpeting: A great home for dust mites and animal dander. Vacuuming can get some but not all, hardwoods or any smooth flooring is better for your allergies.

Spices: These cause more allergic symptoms than others – coriander, poppy seeds, pepper, dill, paprika, cumin, and saffron. If you notice burning in  your mouth or itching or swelling – stay away.

Beer and alcohol: It’s the grains in the liquor that cause problems (my husband has this sometimes). Try grain free and sulfite free alcohol, it may help.

For more allergens and information, see

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