Olive trees may be closely associated with the Mediterranean, but many states in the U.S. with similar climates are also home to this tree. Though they produce lovely olives for food and olive oil, their pollen can also trigger allergies for some people. If you have olive tree pollen allergies, you’ll want to do what you can to limit your exposure and treat your allergies if necessary.
Avoiding olive tree pollen isn’t easy if you live near these wind-pollinated trees, but Wyndly can help. Wyndly offers personalized physician care to find you lifelong relief from seasonal allergies such as allergies to olive tree pollen.
Schedule your allergy consultation with Wyndly today to get your personalized allergy treatment plan, and read on to learn more about olive tree allergies.
What Is an Olive Tree Allergy?
Olive tree allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to the pollen of an olive tree. When you breathe in the pollen, your immune system mistakenly perceives it as a threat, releasing antibodies, histamine, and other chemicals to fight it off. This causes your allergy symptoms.
If you have olive tree allergies, there are several symptoms you may experience, including:
- Runny nose
- Scratchy throat
- Itchy eyes
- Watery eyes
- Allergic rash
- Aggravated symptoms for people who have asthma
You may notice your allergy symptoms become more severe or frequent when the pollen count is high.
Where Are Olive Trees Found?
As we mentioned, olive trees are much more common in the Mediterranean, in countries such as Spain, Portugal, Morocco, and Italy. The subtropical climates create an ideal environment for these beautiful trees. However, there are quite a few states in the U.S. that can also support the growth of olive trees, thanks to their warm and favorable climates. States where olive trees can be found include California, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Arizona, Oregon, Alabama, and Hawaii. If you live in one of these states, olive trees may be an issue for you.
When Is Olive Pollen Allergy Season?
Fortunately, olive pollen allergy season is uncommonly short. You can expect the allergy season to begin in mid-April. Usually, the season will be over by the end of May. Occasionally, if conditions are favorable, olive trees can continue producing pollen into June. With that being said, these trees do produce a large amount of pollen, and the pollen is quite allergenic. So the season may be short, but it can be miserable.
Foods to Avoid
The pollen from olive trees shares a similar protein with several types of food. This can cause an allergic reaction known as OAS or oral allergy syndrome. Oral allergy syndrome can make your mouth and throat feel itchy or tingly. These symptoms are usually mild and will dissipate quickly on their own. However, if you have a more severe reaction to food and have trouble breathing or experience swelling, you should get emergency medical attention.
Here are the foods you should avoid if you have olive tree allergies:
- Kiwi fruits
Testing and Diagnosis
If you have allergies to olive trees, it may be difficult to identify them as the source of your allergies. This is due to the fact that when olive pollen is in the air, there are likely various other types of pollen in the air at the same time. You might mistakenly self-diagnose olive tree allergies when you may be allergic to a different tree, grass, or weed pollen. Indoor allergens are another factor to consider. You can avoid all this guesswork with an allergy test. Wyndly makes allergy testing convenient with our at-home allergy tests. Order yours today!
Let’s look at how different allergy testing options work.
Old-Fashioned Method: Skin Prick Test at Your Doctor’s Office
Skin prick testing requires you to go to the doctor to find out your allergen triggers. It’s often uncomfortable, and it takes time out of your day. You’ll go to the doctor’s office, and they’ll administer a test where they prick or scrape your skin with a needle tipped with different allergens, and then they’ll observe the areas they pricked for itchiness, redness, or swelling. All in all, it’s not a pleasant experience. Instead, you can save yourself time and pain by getting an at-home test.
Modern and Efficient At-Home Method
- Order Wyndly’s at-home allergy test. We ship our CLIA-certified test straight to your door.
- Take the allergy test and send it back to us. Just do a quick finger prick test to provide us with a blood sample and mail it back when you’re done.
- Receive your personal allergy profile. Our doctor will interpret your results, create an allergy profile, and walk you through a personalized treatment plan.
Unlike self-diagnosis, an allergy test can reveal the full breadth of your allergies. This way you know exactly what you’re allergic to and how you can treat your symptoms.
Treatment and Remedies
There are several ways to manage and even treat your olive allergy symptoms. You don’t have to just suffer through them until the season is over.
Limiting your exposure during allergy season is one of the first steps you should take to manage your symptoms. Unfortunately, tree pollen is airborne and hard to avoid. With that being said, there are measures you can take to keep your exposure to an absolute minimum.
- Check out the pollen count: The pollen count will tell you the pollen concentration for the day and can be found on a local weather website or app. If the pollen count for your allergen is high, it’s best to try to stay inside as much as you can.
- Wearing a mask: If you do need to go outside on high pollen count days, wearing an N95 mask can help keep pollen out of your airways. Wearing a hat and sunglasses can also help to keep pollen out of your eyes.
- Go outside in the evening: If you want to get some outdoor time, the evening hours will be best. Pollen usually peaks in the morning and late afternoon.
- Trim branches on nearby olive trees: If you have olive trees in your yard, it can help to keep their branches trimmed. This reduces the amount of pollen they produce. It’s not a cure-all solution, but it can help.
- Clean your house frequently: During allergy season, it’s a good idea to vacuum and dust often, preferably with a HEPA filter vacuum and a wet rag for dusting.
- Shower often: When you get home, it can be helpful to take a shower. Pollen is going to stick to your skin and hair throughout the day, so this can rinse it off. Washing your hands and face is a quick substitute when showering isn’t an option.
- Do laundry: Pollen will stick to your clothes too. Make sure to do your laundry often during allergy season.
- Close the windows: Pollen can get in through open windows, so running your A/C instead is recommended.
- Remove your shoes: You can avoid tracking in pollen by taking off your shoes when you get home.
- Avoid the aforementioned foods: Try to avoid the olive-related foods we listed earlier.
While limiting your exposure can be helpful, it may not be enough to manage your symptoms. This is the case for many allergy sufferers. Fortunately, allergy medications are an option, and they can be pretty helpful. Let’s look at some common allergy medications.
Over the counter: The most common and widely available options will be over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medications. The medications can cover a variety of allergy symptoms. There are a few you might try.
- Antihistamines: Antihistamines work by temporarily blocking the production of histamine, alleviating several common allergy symptoms.
- Nasal sprays: Those with stuffy or runny noses can try nasal sprays for short-term relief. These sprays work by reducing nasal swelling and inflammation.
- Eye drops: If you have itchy or watery eyes, eye drops are a great solution. They flush pollen out of your eyes and provide relief.
- Prescription: If OTC allergy meds aren’t doing the trick, you may want to consult your doctor about prescription options instead.
If you’re seeking a long-term solution to your allergy symptoms, you’ll need to try sublingual immunotherapy. Limiting your exposure and taking allergy medication only manages your symptoms for a short time. Sublingual immunotherapy can offer lifelong relief from your allergy symptoms. Sublingual immunotherapy works by introducing small, gradually increasing doses of an allergen to your immune system using drops or tablets. This teaches your immune system to ignore or tolerate these substances, relieving you from your allergy symptoms.
Sublingual immunotherapy doesn’t require needles or trips to the doctor for your doses, unlike allergy shots.
Get Long-Term Relief With Wyndly
If you’re seeking long-term relief from olive tree allergies, Wyndly can help. Our doctors create personalized treatment plans based on your allergy profile.
Schedule your allergy consultation with Wyndly today!
Olive Tree Allergy FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions we hear about olive tree allergies.
Is there a place in the U.S. where olives are less common?
Olive trees are found almost exclusively in warmer states, as they can’t grow in states where the winters are freezing cold.
When is olive allergy season at its worst?
Olive tree allergies only produce pollen in spring, primarily in April and May. The season will usually peak near the end of April and end fairly quickly.
Will wearing a mask help with my olive allergies?
An N95 mask should help to keep olive pollen from getting in your nose and mouth. If you live near olive trees, you may want to try this to limit exposure.