08 July, 2011
Allergy to Bee Pollen & Allergy to Beeswax
Allergies to bee pollen and beeswax are the result of a malfunction in the immune system that incorrectly identifies the pollen bees carry and the wax they secrete to build their hives as harmful substances. The immune system fights off the substances by producing antibodies to ward them off, according to Hopkins Technology, a publisher of health, travel and diet subjects. An allergy to bee pollen and beeswax is at an all-time high during the spring months, when pollen counts are their highest. Talk with a doctor for treatment options.
Pollen is a common allergen. Pollen is found in trees, weeds, grass and flowering plants. Bees feed on the pollen and use it make honey. Levels of pollen are highest where there are high concentrations of bees. But the pollen can also travel great distances, causing reactions miles away, according to National Jewish Health. .
An allergy to bee pollen and beeswax produces common airborne allergy symptoms. Typical symptoms include nasal issues, eye irritation, throat irritation and asthma-related symptoms, according to the Merck Manuals. Nasal issues include sinus congestion, a runny nose, sneezing and sinus pressure caused by inflammation in the sinus cavity. The eyes become itchy, watery and red from histamine. A cough and sore throat are also common. Some people may have asthma symptoms, such as tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing and wheezing.
Avoiding exposure to bees, pollen and beeswax help to prevent an allergic reaction. During the spring months, stay indoors as much as possible and keep windows and doors closed to prevent pollen from coming in the home. Hire a service to remove any bee hives. If there is prolonged exposure to bee pollen, remove clothing and take a shower to rinse off the residue.
Treat bee pollen and beeswax allergic reactions with antihistamines and decongestants, Hopkins Technology advises. Antihistamines block the production of histamine, alleviating common symptoms. Decongestants are used to treat nasal congestion resulting from an allergy. Decongestants restrict blood flow to the sinus cavity, reducing nasal inflammation.
Talk with an allergist about immunotherapy. Allergy shots may reduce allergy symptoms over time, according to the Merck Manuals. Allergy shots use a small amount of bee pollen and slowly increase the amount until the immune system becomes tolerant of the pollen. Those who are allergic to bee stings should avoid exposure to bee pollen, according to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
- Bee image by Tamas Majer from Fotolia.com