For most people who suffer from pollen allergies, they suffer from itchy eyes and runny noses. For other people, though, their mouth and throat can be impacted by their pollen allergies. If your mouth and throat itch when you consume specific fruits and vegetables, there is a good chance that you suffer from oral allergy syndrome or OAS.
1. OAS Is Caused by Confusion in the Immune System
Oral allergy syndrome is caused by your immune system getting confused. Basically, your immune system wrongly assumes that the proteins found in certain raw vegetables, fruits, and seeds are actually the grass and tree pollen that you are allergic to. This causes your throat and mouth to become itchy when consuming a food that your body confuses with a pollen that you are allergic to. OAS is not a food allergy, but it can be brought on by eating foods.
2. OAS Peaks During Pollen Season
OAS is directly related to the presence of pollen in the air. It is common for OAS systems to peak or become worse at the height of pollen season. The height of pollen season really depends upon where you live and what you are allergic to. For example, pollen season for birtch trees is right in the middle of winter through the start of spring whereas pollen season for hay grass is right in the middle of summer.
3. OAS Reactions Are Heightened to Cross-Reaction Foods During Pollen Season
During the height of pollen season, you are more likely to experience OAS related to foods that your body confuses the protein with the pollen you are allergic to. There are specific foods that seem to be associated with certain pollens. For example, if you are allergic to alder tree pollen, you are more likely to experience OAS when eating peaches, pears, cherries, apples, almonds, celery, and parsley, all foods that create a pollen cross reaction in the body of individuals who are allergic to alder tree pollen.
4. OAS Often Looks Like a Food Allergy
OAS often looks like a food allergy. It can make your mouth, face, and tongue feel both itchy and tingly. In some individuals, hives may develop where the food came in contact with your body. Very rarely can OAS cause anaphylaxis, which has to be treated with epinephrine and formal medical care.
For many individuals though, all you need to do in order to eat the foods that your body confuses with your pollen allergy is either remove the skins or cook them.
If you think you or your child suffers from OAS, talk to an expert at an allergy center who can get your formally tested. To learn more, contact a company like Allergy Asthma Immunology Center.