“Although it’s rare, allergies to alcohol can cause symptoms such as red, itchy eyes, nasal congestion, upset stomach, and difficulty breathing.”

~ Dr. Sami Bahna, former President of The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology

If you find yourself sneezing, sniffling, snorting, and suffering during allergy season, scientists may have a solution you probably haven’t thought of—stop drinking.

Can Alcohol Worsen Allergies?

Alcohol-Induced Nasal Symptoms

According to numerous studies, alcohol consumption can trigger the symptoms of hay fever or asthma. And although ALL alcoholic beverages can cause a reaction, red wine (81%!) and white wine (31%) are the most-frequently-mentioned drinks.

The bacteria and yeast produced during fermentation may be a possible culprit. Wine, beer, and spirits all contain histamine, the compound that sets off allergic reactions.

In addition, the sulfites found in beer and wine are also linked to worsened asthma and allergies. Up to 10% of people with asthma are sensitive to sulfites. This means a single alcoholic drink could possibly trigger a potentially-fatal asthma attack.

For some as-yet-undetermined reason, women are twice as likely to have ANS than men. For example, drinking more than two glasses of wine per day DOUBLES the risk of allergic reactions among women, even among those who do not have perennial or seasonal allergies.

Breathing Difficulties and ANS

Across the board, people with ANS are more likely to suffer from other breathing difficulties, such as:

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Asthma
  • Allergic Rhinitis

Among people with asthma, 40% report that drinking alcohol triggers allergy symptoms, while 35% say that drinking makes their asthma worse.

If you are worried about the negative effect that your drinking is having on your health, but you are unable to stop, Lasting Recovery outpatient alcohol rehab in San Diego can help.

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SOURCES:

http://www.aaaai.org/ask-the-expert/effect-ingestion-alcohol

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/20/health/20real.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18294256

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15878494

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/11-weird-things-make-seasonal-allergies-worse/story?id=25236143