Oral allergy syndrome in Atlanta.

Oral Allergy Syndrome Symptoms Can Be Worse During the Summer

Do you experience itching, burning and swelling of the lips and mouth during the summer? It may be that you are suffering from oral allergy syndrome (OAS). OAS is usually not a severe allergy, but the symptoms can be extremely aggravating. Here’s why summer can be a difficult time for Atlanta residents with OAS.

What Is Oral Allergy Syndrome?

Oral allergy syndrome, also referred to as pollen-food syndrome, is a condition that leads to itchiness and swelling of the lips, mouth and throat after eating fruit, vegetables or nuts. The issue is caused by proteins found in certain fresh fruits and vegetables being similar to those in pollen – called cross-reactivity. The immune system believes there is a threat, leading to the release of chemicals like histamine. The result is rarely severe but will lead to symptoms similar to hay fever.

Why Is OAS Prevalent During the Summer?

Oral Allergy Syndrome can occur at any time of year, but symptoms are likely to be worse during months when the pollen count is high. If you or your child is allergic to grass or ragweed, you may find that eating fresh fruit or uncooked vegetables exacerbates symptoms for a short period. Also, OAS may trigger spring allergy symptoms if you are allergic to birch pollen.

Because the symptoms can be so similar to hay fever, it causes confusion and can lead to uncertainty among allergy sufferers as the pollen count rises. A consultation with your allergist will determine if you have OAS, and reveal what treatments are available.

What Is the Risk of Oral Allergy Syndrome?

Most people with OAS will experience mild reactions during spring and summer, but the symptoms won’t be overly severe. However, small numbers are at risk from anaphylaxis and should take precautions, including carrying an epinephrine auto-injector. Along with fruit and vegetables, oral allergy syndrome can be caused by nuts (which carry a greater risk of a severe allergic reaction).

What Are the Treatment Options for OAS?

An effective treatment option for OAS is to cook fruit and vegetables before eating them. Heating the food will change the protein structure, reducing its resemblance to pollen. Antihistamines can also be a worthwhile option for reducing the impact of your allergy symptoms. Additionally, immunotherapy helps build tolerance to pollen, reducing the chances of your immune system reacting to the presence of an allergen. Above all, pay attention to symptoms after eating foods like apples, celery, carrots, pears, peaches, bananas or parsley. If you are concerned about an allergic reaction, do consult your allergist.

Find the Best Treatment for Oral Allergy Syndrome

If you are suffering with the symptoms of oral allergy syndrome, help is available. From our centers in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Druid Hills, Duluth and Johns Creek, we can diagnose and treat OAS and other allergies. Make an appointment by calling (678) 668-4688 or request help online.

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