Have you experienced hay fever symptoms after eating raw fruit and vegetables? If so, you may require oral allergy syndrome treatment to prevent future immune system reactions. Oral allergy syndrome (OAS), also known as pollen food allergy syndrome (PFAS), is a common allergy affecting Atlanta children and adults, with infants usually not impacted. But is pollen actually the cause of OAS?
What Is the Cause of Oral Allergy Syndrome?
If you suffer from hay fever, you may have experienced itching or tingling in the mouth, lips or throat after eating raw fruit, vegetables or occasionally nuts. These are some of the main symptoms of OAS, and occur because proteins in many of these foods are similar to pollen. OAS is a cross-reactive allergy, with the immune system confusing the proteins in these foods with various tree and grass pollens.
So while the direct cause of the allergic reaction is the consumption of specific foods, it is the immune system mistaking proteins for pollen that causes an allergic reaction. This means that people with hay fever are likely to experience symptoms during allergy seasons when pollen counts are high.
What Are the Common Causes of Oral Allergy Syndrome Allergies?
Symptoms of OAS are usually fairly mild, but the possibility of anaphylaxis does exist. As allergies can have a severe impact on your health, it’s important to know what triggers to pay attention to.
You are most likely to have OAS if you are allergic to tree or grass pollens, including birch, ragweed, mugwort, alder and orchard grass. The list of foods containing cross-reactive proteins is substantial, but individuals won’t experience allergic reactions from each one. One study identified apple, peach and melon as frequent causative foods. Further examples include carrots, celery, pears, peppers, bananas, cucumber, tomatoes, almonds, chestnuts, hazelnuts and many more.
It is important to remember that cooking these foods distorts the proteins. Cooked fruit and vegetables are far less likely to cause an allergic reaction. Also, as the proteins are typically found in the skin of these foods, peeling the skin can reduce the risk factor.
How Do You Know if You Have Oral Allergy Syndrome?
An allergist will consider your medical history and conduct allergy testing to diagnose OAS. The process will involve a skin prick, blood or oral challenge test. After determining the cause of your allergic reactions, treatment may involve antihistamines, avoidance of the trigger food, immunotherapy, plus carrying an epinephrine auto-injector in case of anaphylaxis.
Get Effective Treatment for Oral Allergy Syndrome
If you are experiencing symptoms of oral allergy syndrome or any other allergy, get in contact today. We can provide allergy diagnosis and treatment from clinics in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Duluth and Johns Creek. Call (678) 668-4688 or request help online.