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  • Writer's pictureUsha Nathwani

Are you aware of oral allergy syndrome?

Updated: Jan 4, 2021

If you have seasonal allergies to pollens, your mouth and throat can be itchy after you have eaten some fruits and vegetables, associated with various pollens. This is called Oral allergy syndrome (OAS) or Pollen Fruit Syndrome (PFS). Proteins in some fruits and vegetables are similar to those in certain pollens and thereby cause the immune system to react. For instance, people with hay fever may experience mouth and throat itchiness

when they eat apple and celery. Most common symptoms of OAS include itchiness and swelling of mouth, tongue, lips, face and throat. OAS is a mild form of food allergy. The symptoms usually occur right after consuming raw fruits and vegetables and sometimes after an hour.

There is no test for OAS but people who experience symptoms often have positive skin test or blood test to pollens, associated with proteins in certain fruits and vegetables.

So how do you manage OAS symptoms?

1) Avoid foods which cause the symptoms during allergy season

2) Bake or microwave the foods as high heat deactivates the proteins which cause the reaction

3) Canned foods may cause less reaction

4) Peeling the fruit or vegetable skin can help as offending proteins are near the skin


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