The symptoms of olive allergy are triggered by pollen released by olive trees. The release of the pollen is at its peak throughout the spring and might result to minor to severe respiratory symptoms.
It is important to note that olive trees are categorized as evergreen trees native to Asia, Mediterranean and Africa, but has been introduced to other countries all over the world. The olives and its oil might also trigger allergic reactions that arise as digestive or skin issues.
Olive trees are known as a main reason for seasonal respiratory allergies in the Mediterranean region. Those who are allergic to the pollen might end up with rhinoconjunctivitis. When it comes to rhinitis, it is a reaction that arises if the immune system overly reacts to inhaled substances. Aside from a runny nose, it can also cause coughing, sneezing and wheezing.
Allergic conjunctivitis is another response to olive pollen which causes runny nose, itchy reddened eyes and inflamed inner membranes of the eyelids.
It is important to note that olive trees generate highly allergenic pollen which causes issues among highly sensitive individuals. Since olives start pollinating late in spring and are known heavy pollinators, they can cause serious cases of asthma.
Contact allergy to olive oil is considered rare but it was discovered that some develop sensitization and reactions. It is important to note that this allergy can trigger hand eczema.
Treatment of olive allergy
Nasal steroids and antihistamines are usually given to alleviate the indications of an allergic reaction. Nasal irrigation using a neti pot or decongestants can help in clearing nasal congestion.
Some can benefit from allergy shots which involves injections of small amounts of the pollen allergen over a given span of time. In some instances, the immune system is desensitized while the allergy reactions might be reduced.