Drinking alcohol can trigger an allergic reaction or worsen existing allergies, according to the Past President of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, who spoke yesterday at the group’s annual meeting.
Dr. Sami Bahna told colleagues that symptoms of alcohol-induced allergies can include red, itchy eyes, upset stomach, nasal congestion and difficulty breathing, HealthDay reports. Some people may be allergic to alcohol itself, and others are allergic to various substances in beer and wine such as barley, grapes, hops, wheat, yeast and malt.
Some people may be allergic to egg whites, which are sometimes added during processing, or sulfites, which occur naturally in wine and also may be added as a preservative, the article notes.
Bahna said exposure to tobacco smoke can also worsen asthma and allergies by increasing sensitivity to airborne substances such as mold spores and pollen.