Health, Science

The Six Main Symptoms of Food Allergy – Part Two

Wheezing and other breathing difficulties:

Breathing difficulties can range in severity from simple nasal congestion to pronounced wheezing, and are always worth recording, no matter how mild they may be. Allergy tracking apps such as AlliApp are particularly useful for this, especially if they are also used to document all your meals.


Wheezing is a high-pitched whistling sound that occurs when breathing. It is caused by air being forced in or out of narrowed airways during breathing. This narrowing is usually caused by inflammation of the inner membrane walls of the airways [1], such as in an immune response to a food allergen; and results in breathing difficulties. Wheezing usually occurs during expiration (breathing out), but in severe cases it can occur during both inspiration (breathing in) and expiration (breathing out). Immediate medical attention should always be sought if wheezing occurs, especially if breathing difficulties are also present.

Breathing difficulties

Breathing difficulties can also arise from swelling, or angioedema of the mouth and throat in response to ingestion of a food allergen. Angioedema is painless and non-itchy, but can cause severe complications rapidly if it occurs in the throat, tongue and other soft tissues of the mouth [2]. This also constricts the airways, thus making it difficult to breathe.

Nasal congestion

Nasal congestion refers to a blocked or stuffy nose or sinuses, and is due to inflammation of the inside of the nasal cavity. It can also contribute to breathing difficulties, particularly if wheezing is also present. In milder cases, the symptoms can be described and documented in real time. More severe episodes can be recorded once medical help has been sought.


Some allergy trackers, including AlliApp have an inbuilt camera which allows you to photograph and store any medical reports documenting the nature and treatment of your breathing difficulties. Therefore, any links between ingested foods and breathing difficulties can be explored and identified.

Dr Nicky, PhD, MBPsS – AlliApp Science




1) Lechtzin N (2018): ‘Wheezing’. MSD Manual, Professional Version.
Merck Sharp & Dohme Corporation. Available online at:
disorders/symptoms-of-pulmonary-disorders/wheezing [Accessed on

2) American Academy of Oral Medicine (2018): ‘Oral Hypersensitivity
Reactions’. Available online at:
condition-information&Itemid=120 [Accessed on 20/08/2018]

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