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Being Mouthy: Oral Allergy Syndrome

Feb 08, 2024
Oral allergy syndrome is caused by cross-reaction between
Dr. Wendt discusses the causes of Oral Allergy Syndrome.

If certain raw fruits and vegetables cause itching or swelling of your mouth, lips, tongue, mouth, inner ears and throat on direct contact as soon as you start eating, but it never progresses to a more severe allergy, you may have Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS), also known as Pollen-Fruit Syndrome (PFS).  On the other hand, the same fruits or vegetables when thoroughly cooked do not tend to cause the same problem. Very rarely, OAS patients may develop anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction.

It is believed that sensitization to certain pollens cause this reaction on exposure to cross-reactive fruits and vegetables.  Representative examples are shown in the figure below.  The classic example is patients that get itchy mouth and throat after eating raw celery or apple, which occurs in about half of patients that have a birch pollen allergy.

Oral allergy syndrome can be verified with skin testing to fresh fruits or vegetables and to pollens.

Patients with OAS should avoid eating their trigger foods raw.  Baking or microwaving food before eating can help prevent symptoms.  For some foods, the trigger is in the peel so removing the peel is all that is necessary.  Some studies have shown that treatment with allergy shots can improve the symptoms of OAS.

If you would like to be tested for your allergies or believe you might be a good candidate for food oral immunotherapy or allergy shots Dr. Wendt and the staff at Relieve Allergy, Asthma & Hives would love to help.

Relieve Allergy Asthma & Hives is located near Kierland Commons, Scottsdale Quarter, DC Ranch and Grayhawk at 21803 N. Scottsdale Road Ste. 200, on the corners of Deer Valley and Scottsdale Roads, and has convenient evening and early morning hours to accommodate your schedule.

Dr. Wendt is also available for telemedicine appointments as appropriate. Insurance plans accepted. Call 480-500-1902 today to schedule an appointment now and begin your allergy testing and treatment with Dr. Wendt at Relieve Allergy, Asthma & Hives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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