Oral allergy syndrome typically occurs most often among individuals who experience asthma or hay fever regularly. The symptoms usually manifest once the individual has eaten raw vegetables, fruits or nuts that triggers the release of histamine in the body. Unlike with the seafood allergies in which the food itself is the underlying cause of the reaction, the reactions during oral allergy syndrome are determined by the type of pollen in which the individual is allergic to.
What are the symptoms of oral allergy syndrome?
The symptoms of an oral allergy syndrome are usually mild and develop quickly right after initial contact with the raw food. It includes itchiness, swelling and tingling sensation within the mouth and throat. It can even affect the lips. The general symptoms of hay fever such as sneezing, irritated eyes and rhinitis can also occur.
In case of severe reactions, they are not common and are strikingly similar to a usual food allergy which includes stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and breathing difficulty. Anaphylaxis is the most serious reaction of oral allergy syndrome but it is rare.
What are the types?
Take note that there are various categories of oral allergy syndrome. It is based on the type of pollen that generates the initial sensitivity. Take note that ragweed pollen is typically linked with certain reactions to foods such as banana, zucchini and cantaloupe. The grass pollen also has a link to oranges, melons and tomatoes. As for birch and alder pollen, both interact with almonds, apples, celery, pears and cherries. It is also important to note that birch also interacts with various fruits including plums, apricots and nectarines.
Instruct the individual to avoid specific foods that triggers the symptoms to prevent oral allergy syndrome, particularly during the spring and fall season when the presence of pollen is very high.
Picking or peeling fruits that are not yet fully ripe can also trigger oral allergy syndrome in some individuals. The individual can look for alternatives that will not cause reactions in order to maintain a healthy level of fresh foods in the diet.
Treatment at home
If an individual experiences oral allergy syndrome, you can provide over-the-counter antihistamines as a basic first aid measure since they can treat the mild symptoms if they do not resolve on their own. The individual must stop eating the food right away if an allergic reaction occurs. Take note that continuous exposure will only aggravate the symptoms. In case the individual is at risk for anaphylactic shock, the doctor prescribes an EpiPen. The injectable epinephrine works quickly to counteract the symptoms particularly the swelling of the mouth and throat.
Allergy shots can help relieve oral allergy syndrome in some individuals. This treatment for those who experience severe and recurrent rhinitis due to the syndrome. The allergen shots contain small amounts of the specific allergen that are likely to trigger the symptoms. Over time, there is an increase in the dosage to establish resistance to the allergen. The treatment usually takes years but the results can last long.