Allergy :: Fresh Fruits, Veggies Can Trigger Allergy

‘Pollen-food syndrome’ leaves mouths itchy, experts say. Does your mouth get itchy after you eat fresh fruits or vegetables at this time of year? You may have oral allergy syndrome, say experts at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).

OAS, also called pollen-food syndrome, is caused by allergens such as ragweed, which begins to bloom in mid-August.

“The pollen released from ragweed is the airborne allergen most responsible for the onslaught of allergy symptoms at this time of year. In addition to sneezing and itchy, water eyes, and symptoms of OAS, ragweed allergies can take a heavy toll on the allergy sufferer’s quality of life,” Dr. Suzanne S. Teuber, chair of the AAAAI’s Adverse Reactions to Foods Committee, said in a prepared statement.

OAS symptoms are the result of a “cross-reactivity reaction” between allergy antibodies directed toward target pollen proteins with similar proteins found in other parts of plants. Common symptoms of OAS included an itchy mouth and throat with mild swelling immediately after eating fresh fruits or vegetables.

People with ragweed allergies can experience OAS symptoms when they consume bananas, cucumbers, melon, zucchini, sunflower seeds, chamomile tea or echinacea.

OAS can also occur in people with birch tree allergy symptoms when they eat peaches, apples, pears, cherries, carrots, hazelnuts, kiwis, and almonds, the AAAAI said.

Generally, cooking foods will eliminate an OAS reaction, according to the AAAAI.

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