Atlanta pollen-food allergy syndrome treatment.

As one of the most common allergies, the signs of hay fever caused by pollen are known to many people. However, the cross-reactive condition called oral allergy syndrome (OAS) is less widely understood – OAS is also referred to as pollen-food allergy syndrome. Atlanta patients may suffer hay fever-like symptoms after consuming certain foods. But what is the link between pollen and food, and what can you do about it?

What Is the Connection Between Pollen Allergies and Food?

OAS results from cross-reacting allergens found in fruits, vegetables and nuts. The immune system identifies proteins in these foods that are similar to those in pollen, and in response releases histamine and other chemicals. As a result of this allergic reaction, a person experiences symptoms such as itching, tingling and swelling of the lips and mouth.

What Foods Cause Oral Allergy Syndrome Symptoms?

For an allergist to treat oral allergy syndrome, it’s important to understand the links between pollen and food. For example, a person may only suffer allergic reactions from exposure to birch pollen. Consequently, only the fruits, vegetables and nuts with proteins similar to those found in birch pollen will trigger a response. Here are some common examples of cross-reactive allergens.

  • Alder Pollen – Almonds, apples, celery, cherries, hazelnuts, pears and parsley.
  • Birch Pollen – Almonds, apples, carrots, celery, kiwi, peaches, plums and strawberries.
  • Grass Pollen – Melons, oranges, tomatoes and wheat.
  • Mugwort Pollen – Apples, bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, garlic, onions and parsley.
  • Ragweed Pollen – Bananas, cucumbers, melons and zucchini.

Alongside these examples, various other foods could also trigger an allergic reaction. And with other foods the likelihood of cross-reactive symptoms is also relatively high. A study published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that OAS occurred in 50–70% of patients with a birch pollen allergy. But when OAS is affecting you or your child, just what can you do about it?

How Do Allergists Treat Pollen-Food Allergy Syndrome?

When it comes to OAS food preparation is key. Structural similarities between proteins and foods are typically broken down with heat, so while you might experience a reaction from eating an apple, you may not react at all to a baked apple pie.

In addition, many proteins are located in or just beneath the skin of the fruit or vegetable. Therefore, peeling the skin can sometimes be enough to prevent a reaction.

Fortunately OAS symptoms are often mild, with only some brief tingling, itching or swelling that quickly subsides. If you have concerns, speak with your allergist about food allergy testing, possible medication recommendations – and an effective treatment plan to stay safe and healthy.

Professional Oral Allergy Syndrome Treatment in Atlanta

If you experience the symptoms of pollen-food allergy syndrome, Chacko Food Allergy Treatment Center is here to help. Visit one of our centers in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Druid Hills, Duluth or Johns Creek for allergy testing and treatment. For assistance, call (678) 668-4688 or request an appointment now.

Image Credit – – Yuri A/