Sunflower Allergy - Causes, Symptoms, And Cure
Sunflower Allergy symptoms can be triggered by ingesting the seeds present in a number of garnishes or bakery products. Sunflower oil can also be harmful and trigger allergic reactions in certain highly sensitive individuals. The honey extract along with the hairy part can also harbor deadly allergens.
Reasons for Sunflower Allergy
Almost 10 allergens have been identified from sunflower until now. The most recent discovery has identified the 2S methionine-rich protein of the sunflower seeds as an allergen along with Hel a 1 and Hel a 2 which are pollen proteins. These proteins are identified as harmful entities resulting in a number of painful and discomforting symptoms.
The possibility of being allergic to the sunflower and related products may be enhanced if you have :-
- A history of Hay Fever
- Allergy to Ragweed, Mugwort and Dandelions
- Family members who are allergic to certain food products.
Sunflower Allergy Symptoms
The adverse bodily reactions to the allergens present in the sunflower result in a number of allergic symptoms which can range from simple skin rashes to fatal anaphylactic shock.
- Runny nose and streaming eyes
- Itching of skin
- Skin Hives
- Shortness of Breath
- Sneezing and Coughing
- Redness of the face and inflammation
- Tingling around the lips
- Abdominal Cramps
- Dizziness and Lightheadedness
- Reduced Blood Pressure
- Loss of Consciousness leading to anaphylaxis.
Diagnosis of Sunflower Allergy
The allergy can be cond\firmed by an allergist who usually conducts a few tests on the patient. Common tests to diagnose the allergy include:-
Mold Tests- Checking the lungs and nasal passage for the presence of molds which cause breathing problems. These molds can be inhaled along with the pollens trigerring off allergic symptoms.
Skin Prick Tests- A part of the suspected allergen is introduced into the body by means of a skin prick. Adverse reaction occurs if it is the cause of allergy.
Blood Tests- Blood tests are conducted to check the presence of immunoglobulin E which is formed when there is an allergen within the body.
- Food Intolerance Tests- Foods commonly causing allergy are given to the patient and the diagnosis arrived at by the trial and error method.
Treating Sunflower Allergy Symptoms
- Avoiding sunflower in all forms including ingesting seeds, oil and coming in contact with te pollen.
- Margarine and bakery products need to be avoided as the products use sunflower oil and seeds respectively.
- Handling of animal feeds containing the offending seeds can be dangerous for people allergic to sunflowers.
- OTC Anti Histamine Drugs can relieve the breathing problems to an extent.
- Medication for Asthma is required when there is shortness of breath coupled with wheezing.
- Calamine lotion or corticosteroids can offer relief from itching and skin rashes when applied topically.
- Epinephrine injections in case of anaphylaxis is a necessity as the condition may become life threatening.
It is not impossible to treat yourself or your loved ones if you find the symptoms of sunflower allergy plaguing you.
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