What is Barley Allergy?
Barley allergy is caused when the immune system mistakenly identifies the proteins present in barley as harmful and reacts against it. Rash, itchiness of skin and shortness of breath are common symptoms caused due to the allergic reaction. Barley allergy and wheat allergy are closely linked. Hence, people with wheat allergy are at high risk of developing barley allergy.
Barley is present in cereal formulas and it can result in diarrhea and vomiting in infants. Barley is also present in many other foods such as flour, bran and flakes. As barley is used in the making of beer, people with barley allergy may also develop allergy to beer.
Symptoms of Barley Allergy:
- Itchiness of skin
- Itchy mouth
Diagnosing Barley Allergy:
If you suspect that you have barley allergy, you can follow an elimination diet. Eliminate barley in your diet and see if your symptoms subside. You can also consult an allergist for allergy testing. Blood test (RAST) and skin prick test can be conducted to check if you have barley allergy.
Preventing Barley Allergy:
Barley allergy can be prevented by reading the labels while buying products. Avoid products which contain barley as an ingredient. You can also inquire about the ingredients while eating out and avoid dishes which contain barley allergy.
For barley allergy treatment, you doctor may give you anti-histamines or other medications. Hence, if you suspect that you have an allergy to barley, do visit your doctor or allergist for proper diagnosis and treatment.
More Treatments for Barley Allergy
The main thing is to avoid contact with the allergen. So, dietary modification is necessary to exclude barley. Other useful treatments include:
- Nasal sprays, including antihistamines and topical steroids, for allergic rhinitis.
- Eyedrops – olapatadine, ketotifen, levocabastine and ketorolac for allergic conjunctivitis.
- For asthma, take inhaled corticosteroids and inhaled beta agonists.
- Take oral steroids for moderate allergic symptoms, with skin conditions or asthma.
- Desensitization to get used to the allergen.
- In case of anaphylactic reaction, hospitalization may be necessary.