Many people experience allergies to foods, bee stings and fragrances, but pollens create some of the most common reactions. Flowers, plants and trees spread pollen during fertilisation, and inhaling the pollen can cause allergy symptoms. Some people experience reactions to orange trees in bloom.
Pollen allergies generally cause similar symptoms most people recognise as hay fever. Signs include itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, congestion and scratchy throat. Specialists advise that people can tell if the problems are due to allergies rather than a cold virus because colds often are accompanied by fever, thicker mucus, sore throat and hoarseness. Colds also tend to clear up rather quickly while allergies continue as long as the irritant does. One sign of an allergy to orange blossoms is that symptoms occur when trees are in bloom, usually starting in late winter and into spring.
Asthma and oils
Orange trees do have associations with asthmatic issues, as well. Orange blossoms may trigger asthma or exacerbate existing symptoms. Orange oil seems to more commonly cause allergic reactions than pollen, however. Oil sprayed from broken orange peels, stems and leaves of oranges may cause asthma attacks as well as hives. Sawdust from orange tree wood also may create respiratory issues in sensitive individuals. Orange trees produce little pollen, but sensitivity to it can still exist.
Allergy tests such as skin-prick tests definitely diagnose orange pollen allergies. Medications such as antihistamines help reduce nasal allergy symptoms and are available in both over-the-counter and prescription forms. Decongestants and corticosteroids reduce congestion from orange allergies. Longer-term relief may be available through allergy shots, which are injections of small amounts of orange pollen under controlled conditions that grow progressively larger over a period of years and so help the body build a resistance to the bloom. Once the proper level is reached, patients may be able to discontinue the injections.
Some changes in the home and daily habits may help those who suffer from orange pollen allergies as well. Keeping windows tightly closed during blooming periods reduces the chances of pollen indoors. Air conditioning systems recirculate air instead of drawing in air from outside that might contain pollen during blooming seasons. Sufferers should avoid venturing outside on windy days, wear masks to reduce the chances of inhaling pollen when they do go out, and keep houses, pets and person clean to prevent build-up of pollen.