Atlanta oral allergy syndrome triggers
Spring is a challenging time of year for the many people in Atlanta with a pollen allergy. But there’s also something that can add to these issues – the cross-reactive allergic reaction triggered by eating fruits and vegetables – called oral allergy syndrome (OAS). However, OAS is not restricted to springtime and can appear at any time of year. So why are so many people affected by OAS during the spring months?

Why Is Oral Allergy Syndrome Common in Spring?

When a person with seasonal allergies is exposed to pollen, their immune system reacts by producing antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies trigger the release of chemicals such as histamine that cause the symptoms of seasonal allergies – itchiness and swelling of the mouth, lips and throat.

When a person is dealing with OAS, their immune system mistakenly identifies the proteins in various fruits and vegetables as pollen allergens. And while many foods can trigger a reaction, some of the most common foods include apples, pears, cherries, celery, almonds and carrots.

For a person with OAS and hay fever too, spring may indeed be the worst period for allergies as many trees and grasses release pollen into the air. Trees such as birch, oak and cedar typically pollinate during spring, and pollen can spread far and wide. And when spring arrives early, grasses and weed pollens could also be prevalent.

Fortunately, for most people with OAS symptoms are relatively mild. However, if a food allergy triggers spring allergy symptoms you should seek guidance from an allergist. In most cases, a reaction is limited to the mouth and throat area and brings only minor discomfort, but you should also be aware of the possibility of a severe allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis.

What Are the Main Proteins Triggering Oral Allergy Syndrome?

  • Bet v 1 – This protein is found in birch pollen and is also present in many fruits, including apples, pears and peaches. A Medicine Journal study found that all children who participated in the trial were sensitive to Bet v 1.
  • Pru p 3 – This common trigger for OAS is a protein found in peach, apricot and other fruits and vegetables.
  • Profilin – Patients with a hypersensitivity to this protein may experience cross-reactive symptoms after eating watermelon, pineapple and tomato.

How to Cope With Oral Allergy Syndrome

If you experience a reaction after eating any type of food, contact an allergist for testing and treatment. Food allergy testing will identify the precise allergens that trigger symptoms, allowing for more precise treatment. Strategies can vary from cooking foods (to reduce the chances of a reaction) to medication or desensitization treatment.

Contact Us for Oral Allergy Syndrome Treatment in Atlanta

If you are experiencing oral allergy syndrome and food allergy symptoms, Dr. Chacko is here to help. We have locations in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Duluth and Johns Creek, providing comprehensive allergy testing and treatment. Call (678) 668-4688  or request an appointment today.

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