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Featuring smooth, steel-gray bark, beech trees are deciduous ornamental and timber trees that are native to subtropical and temperate climates in the Northern Hemisphere.1 Pollinated by wind, beech trees are related to oaks and have allergenic pollen that is rarely the cause of pollen allergy.2,3
Beech trees are found mostly in subtropical and temperate climates in the Northern Hemisphere.1
Many patients with beech tree allergy can experience symptoms when exposed to other allergens such as tree, weed, or grass pollens, making it difficult to determine which pollen is causing the symptoms, especially when pollen seasons are overlapping. This is called cross-reactivity and occurs when your body's immune system identifies the proteins, or components, in different substances as being structurally similar or biologically related, thus triggering a response. Other respiratory allergens that may cause reactions associated with beech tree pollen allergy are grass pollen and birch, alder, hazel, and oak pollens.8
If you experience an itchy mouth or throat after eating fresh fruit or raw vegetables, you may suffer from oral allergy syndrome (OAS), sometimes called pollen food allergy syndrome (PFAS). This condition is also caused by your immune system’s reaction to similar proteins, or components, found in different allergens. It is quite common, with up to 25% of children with allergic rhinitis (i.e., hay fever) also suffering from OAS.5 Common plant foods involved in OAS for beech tree include fruits and vegetables such as apple, cherry, peach, hazel nut, peanut, carrot, celery, soy, strawberry, and many more.8
The management of allergic rhinitis includes avoidance of relevant allergens, symptomatic treatment, and allergen immunotherapy.5-7
Beech tree allergy symptoms can be similar to many other pollen allergies and may include:4,5
If you’re sensitized to beech trees and have asthma, tree pollen may trigger or worsen asthma symptoms, such as coughing and wheezing.4,5
Together with your symptom history, skin-prick testing or specific IgE blood testing can help determine if you are sensitized to a particular allergen. If you are diagnosed with an allergy, your healthcare provider will work with you to create a management plan.
While tree pollen is common in the spring, beech trees typically produce pollen between March and May in the Northern Hemisphere, depending on latitude and elevation.3,4 The European beech and the American beech are two of the most widely known beech species, the former of which sheds considerably more pollen than its American counterpart.1,3