Symptoms of what allergy

Common symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  1. sneezing and an itchy, runny or blocked nose (allergic rhinitis)
  2. a raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
  3. wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and a cough
  4. swollen lips, tongue, eyes or face
  5. tummy pain, feeling ill, vomiting or diarrhoea
  6. itchy, red, watering eyes (conjunctivitis)
  7. dry, red and cracked skin

The symptoms vary depending on what you’re allergic to and how you come into contact with it.

For example, you may have a runny nose if exposed to pollen, develop a rash if you own a skin allergy, or feel sick if you eat something you’re allergic to.

See your GP if you or your kid might own had an allergic reaction to something.

Symptoms of what allergy

They can assist determine whether the symptoms are caused by an allergy or another condition.

Read more about diagnosing allergies.


Favorite Resources for Finding a Specialist

American Rhinologic Society

Through research, education, and advocacy, the American Rhinologic Society is devoted to serving patients with nose, sinus, and skull base disorders. Their website’s thorough coverage of sinus-related issues includes rarer conditions, such as fungal sinusitis, which are often excluded from other informational sites.

It also provides a valuable search tool to discover a doctor, as well as links to other medical societies and resources that are useful for patients.

Cleveland Clinic

Their website contains an exhaustive guide on sinusitis and an easy-to-use «Find a Doctor» search tool.

ENThealth

ENThealth provides useful information on how the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) are all connected, along with information about sinusitis and other related illnesses and symptoms, such as rhinitis, deviated septum, and postnasal drip. As part of the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, this website is equipped with the ability to assist you discover an ENT specialist in your area.

Allergies to cacao (the bean that is the main ingredient in chocolate) are possible, but they're incredibly rare — so rare that they don't even show up in recent medical literature.

Therefore, if you've experienced food allergy symptoms after eating chocolate, you can safely assume that another ingredient in the chocolate is causing your symptoms unless testing shows otherwise.

If you do experience allergy symptoms, call your doctor as soon as possible to discuss testing. Symptoms of anaphylaxis represent an emergency; take epinephrine immediately, if available, and call for an ambulance.


The Best Research Resources

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology

This academy’s website provides valuable information to assist readers determine the difference between colds, allergies, and sinusitis.

A primer guide on sinusitis also provides more specific information about the chronic version of the illness. Additional resources include a «virtual allergist» that helps you to review your symptoms, as well as a database on pollen counts.

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI)

In addition to providing a comprehensive guide on sinus infections, the ACAAI website also contains a wealth of information on allergies, asthma, and immunology. The site’s useful tools include a symptom checker, a way to search for an allergist in your area, and a function that allows you to ask an allergist questions about your symptoms.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)

For allergy sufferers, the AAFA website contains an easy-to-understand primer on sinusitis.

It also provides comprehensive information on various types of allergies, including those with risk factors for sinusitis.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC website provides basic information on sinus infections and other respiratory illnesses, such as common colds, bronchitis, ear infections, flu, and sore throat. It offers guidance on how to get symptom relief for those illnesses, as well as preventative tips on practicing good hand hygiene, and a recommended immunization schedule.

U.S.

National Library of Medicine

The U.S. National Library of Medicine is the world’s largest biomedical library. As part of the National Institutes of Health, their website provides the basics on sinus infection. It also contains a number of links to join you with more information on treatments, diagnostic procedures, and related issues.


Other Potential Problems

There are two other potential issues with chocolate:

  1. Caffeine: Contrary to favorite belief, chocolate is extremely low in caffeine: one ounce of milk chocolate contains only six milligrams of caffeine.

    In comparison, one 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola has 34 milligrams, and a 2-ounce double espresso can range from 45 to 100 milligrams. However, if you are highly sensitive to caffeine, chocolate may exacerbate your symptoms, and you may discover that you're better off avoiding it.

    Symptoms of what allergy

    Dark chocolate has far more caffeine than milk chocolate.

  2. Bedford B, Yu Y, Wang X, Garber EAE, Jackson LS. A Limited Survey of Dark Chocolate Bars Obtained in the United States for Undeclared Milk and Peanut Allergens. Journal of Food Protection. 2017;80(4):692-702. doi:10.4315/0362-028x.jfp-16-443

  3. Lopes JP, Kattan J, Doppelt A, Nowak-Węgrzyn A, Bunyavanich S. Not so sweet: True chocolate and cocoa allergy. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. 2019;7(8):2868-2871. doi:10.1016/j.jaip.2019.04.023

  4. Drug Interactions: Rarely, chocolate may cause symptoms that resemble allergy symptoms (like skin itchiness) in people taking the common medication Prozac (fluoxetine).

    It's possible that the sensitivity to the biological chemical serotonin that seems to cause this unusual reaction can happen due to Prozac, or other similar drugs. Be certain your allergist is aware of any medications you're taking before you undergo allergy testing. This could be especially useful information if your tests are negative.

  5. Visioli F, Bernardini E, Poli A, Paoletti R. Chocolate and Health: A Brief Review of the Evidence. Chocolate and Health.

    2012:63-75. doi:10.1007/978-88-470-2038-2_5

  6. Cederberg J, Knight S, Svenson S, Melhus H. Itch and skin rash from chocolate during fluoxetine and sertraline treatment: case report. BMC Psychiatry. 2004;4:36. Published 2004 Nov 2. doi:10.1186/1471-244X-4-36

Thanks for your feedback!

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to study more about how we fact-check and hold our content precise, dependable, and trustworthy.

Symptoms of what allergy

  • Lopes JP, Kattan J, Doppelt A, Nowak-Węgrzyn A, Bunyavanich S. Not so sweet: True chocolate and cocoa allergy. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

    Symptoms of what allergy

    2019;7(8):2868-2871. doi:10.1016/j.jaip.2019.04.023

  • Visioli F, Bernardini E, Poli A, Paoletti R. Chocolate and Health: A Brief Review of the Evidence. Chocolate and Health. 2012:63-75. doi:10.1007/978-88-470-2038-2_5

  • Bedford B, Yu Y, Wang X, Garber EAE, Jackson LS. A Limited Survey of Dark Chocolate Bars Obtained in the United States for Undeclared Milk and Peanut Allergens. Journal of Food Protection.

    Symptoms of what allergy

    2017;80(4):692-702. doi:10.4315/0362-028x.jfp-16-443

  • Cederberg J, Knight S, Svenson S, Melhus H. Itch and skin rash from chocolate during fluoxetine and sertraline treatment: case report. BMC Psychiatry. 2004;4:36. Published 2004 Nov 2. doi:10.1186/1471-244X-4-36

  • Cederberg, Jonas, et al. "Itch and Skin Rash from Chocolate During Fluoxetine and Sertraline Treatment: Case Report." BMC Psychiatry. 2004. 4:36.

Additional Reading

  1. Cederberg, Jonas, et al. "Itch and Skin Rash from Chocolate During Fluoxetine and Sertraline Treatment: Case Report." BMC Psychiatry. 2004. 4:36.

Itchy eyes, a congested nose, sneezing, wheezing and hives: these are symptoms of an allergic reaction caused when plants release pollen into the air, generally in the spring or drop.

Numerous people use hay fever as a colloquial term for these seasonal allergies and the inflammation of the nose and airways.

But hay fever is a misnomer, said Dr. Jordan Josephson, an ear, nose and throat doctor and sinus specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

«It is not an allergy to hay,» Josephson, author of the book «Sinus Relief Now» (Perigee Trade, 2006), told Live Science. «Rather, it is an allergy to weeds that pollinate.»

Doctors and researchers prefer the phrase allergic rhinitis to describe the condition.

More than 50 million people experience some type of allergy each year, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. In 2017, 8.1% of adults and 7.7% of children reported own allergic rhinitis symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Worldwide, between 10 and 30% of people are affected by allergic rhinitis, Josephson said.

In 2019, spring arrived early in some parts of the country and later in others, according to the National Phenology Network (NPN). Spring brings blooming plants and, for some, lots of sneezing, itchy, watery eyes and runny noses.

According to NPN data, spring reared its head about two weeks early in areas of California, Nevada and numerous of the Southern and Southeastern states. Much of California, for example, is preparing for a brutal allergy season due to the large quantity of winter rain.

Symptoms of what allergy

On the other hand, spring ranged from about one to two weeks tardy in the Northwest, the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic U.S. [Watch a Massive ‘Pollen Cloud’ Explode from Late-Blooming Tree]

Additional Reading

  1. Cederberg, Jonas, et al. "Itch and Skin Rash from Chocolate During Fluoxetine and Sertraline Treatment: Case Report." BMC Psychiatry. 2004. 4:36.

Itchy eyes, a congested nose, sneezing, wheezing and hives: these are symptoms of an allergic reaction caused when plants release pollen into the air, generally in the spring or drop.

Numerous people use hay fever as a colloquial term for these seasonal allergies and the inflammation of the nose and airways.

But hay fever is a misnomer, said Dr. Jordan Josephson, an ear, nose and throat doctor and sinus specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

«It is not an allergy to hay,» Josephson, author of the book «Sinus Relief Now» (Perigee Trade, 2006), told Live Science. «Rather, it is an allergy to weeds that pollinate.»

Doctors and researchers prefer the phrase allergic rhinitis to describe the condition. More than 50 million people experience some type of allergy each year, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

In 2017, 8.1% of adults and 7.7% of children reported own allergic rhinitis symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Worldwide, between 10 and 30% of people are affected by allergic rhinitis, Josephson said.

In 2019, spring arrived early in some parts of the country and later in others, according to the National Phenology Network (NPN). Spring brings blooming plants and, for some, lots of sneezing, itchy, watery eyes and runny noses. According to NPN data, spring reared its head about two weeks early in areas of California, Nevada and numerous of the Southern and Southeastern states.

Much of California, for example, is preparing for a brutal allergy season due to the large quantity of winter rain. On the other hand, spring ranged from about one to two weeks tardy in the Northwest, the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic U.S. [Watch a Massive ‘Pollen Cloud’ Explode from Late-Blooming Tree]


Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)

In rare cases, an allergy can lead to a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, which can be life threatening.

This affects the whole body and usually develops within minutes of exposure to something you’re allergic to.

Signs of anaphylaxis include any of the symptoms above, as well as:

Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.

Read more about anaphylaxis for information about what to do if it occurs.

Sheet final reviewed: 22 November 2018
Next review due: 22 November 2021

How to Stay Healthy, Breathe Easier, and Feel Energetic This Winter

Indoor allergies, freezing weather, less sunlight — winter can make it hard to stay well mentally and physically. Discover out how to protect yourself against seasonal allergies, the winter blahs, freezing winds, comfort-eating traps, and fatigue this year.

Learn More About the Ultimate Winter Wellness Guide

Sinusitis can be a confusing thing to treat for anyone.

Because a sinus infection can be so easily confused with a common freezing or an allergy, figuring out the best way to alleviate your symptoms can be difficult.

Even more challenging, a sinus infection can evolve over time from a viral infection to a bacterial infection, or even from a short-term acute infection to a long-term chronic illness.

We own provided for you the best sources of information on sinus infections to assist you rapidly define your ailment and get the best and most efficient treatment possible.


Why You Might Own Allergy Symptoms After Eating Chocolate

One reason so numerous people experience allergy and food intolerance symptoms after eating chocolate is that chocolates often contain foods that are problematic for people.

Here are some common allergens you can discover in chocolate:

  1. Milk:Dairy allergies are extremely common, especially in children, and almost every chocolate contains at least some milk.

    If you're lactose intolerant and can tolerate little amounts of dairy products, attempt bittersweet, semisweet, or dark chocolate: Those chocolates are required by law to contain a higher percentage of chocolate liquor and, therefore, will own less milk and sugar. Dairy-free chocolates are on the market from brands love Tropical Source, Amanda's Own, Premium Chocolatiers, and Chocolate Decadence.

  2. Soy: Technically, chocolate is an emulsion (a mixture of two liquids that would otherwise separate), and just love mayonnaise and shelf-stable salad dressings, it generally includes an emulsifier to hold it solid at room temperature. Among the most common is soy lecithin, which is problematic for numerous people with soy allergies.

    This should be listed clearly on food labels.

  3. Wheat and Gluten: The same issues that apply to peanuts and tree nuts also affect people with wheat allergies and celiac disease. Filled chocolates often use flour or wheat starch as a binder, and crisped rice can be problematic for celiacs because it often includes barley malt. Gluten-free chocolatiers include Endangered Species Chocolate and Equal Exchange.
  4. Peanuts and Tree Nuts: Obviously, some chocolates are filled with peanut butter or with whole nuts. But even chocolates that don't include peanuts or tree nuts as ingredients can be problematic for people with peanut allergies or tree nut allergies because manufacturers that make chocolate assortments containing nuts often make every of their chocolates on the same manufacturing line.

    Labeling rules do not require manufacturers to mention this on food labels, so always call manufacturers before eating high-risk foods love chocolates. You can also purchase chocolate from nut-free manufacturers love Vermont Nut-Free, or glance for label indications love "manufactured in a dedicated nut-free facility."

  5. Corn: Corn is incredibly hard to avoid in the industrial food supply, and chocolate is no exception. In addition to high-fructose corn syrup in some chocolate brands, some manufacturers may use corn on production lines.

    Be especially alert for the presence of corn in white chocolate.

  6. Berries: Berries are among the more common allergenic fruits. Be careful of assortments; no matter how carefully you read the legend indicating which type of chocolate is located where in the box, it's too simple for pieces to get mixed up.

Always double-check labels on anything you purchase, since manufacturing practices can change without warning.


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