Apple Allergy

Table of Contents

What Is Apple Allergy?

Apple allergy is an adverse reaction to apples. Apple allergy is often seen in patients with hay fever caused by birch alder and hazel pollen. This is known as oral allergy syndrome (OAS). People who are allergic to apples may also experience cross-reactivity with other fruits and vegetables, such as pears, peaches, and cherries. 

Symptoms of Apple Allergy

  • Swelling and itching of the lips and throat
  • Itchy/ puffy eyes
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Asthma systems such as wheezing and difficulty breathing

Rarely does apple allergy cause more severe symptoms such as anaphylaxis. However, if you suspect that you have an apple allergy, it’s important to visit an allergist for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Apple Allergy Diagnosis

An apple allergy can be diagnosed through a skin-prick test or oral food challenge. During a skin prick test, a small amount of apple extract is placed on the skin, and a small prick is made through the extract. An allergist may also test if you are allergic to pollen. If a raised, red, itchy bump appears at the site, you are probably allergic to apples. 

An oral food challenge is considered the most accurate method for diagnosing an apple allergy. In this test, the individual is given a small amount of apple to eat, and the reaction is monitored. If an allergic reaction occurs, it confirms an apple allergy. While this test provides accuracy, it can be dangerous. That’s why it should only be done in a clinical setting. A medical professional should only make a diagnosis, as self-diagnosis may result in a severe reaction.

Apple Allergy Treatment

The best treatment for apple allergy is avoidance. However, most cases of apple allergies are mild and can be treated with antihistamines, so it’s helpful to keep them with you. Over-the-counter medications may be strong enough, but you can also get prescribed medications to treat your symptoms. Prescribed medications may be necessary for asthma symptoms. Your allergist will recommend an inhaled corticosteroid if you suffer from allergic asthma.

For more serious allergic reactions to apples, ask your allergist about an epinephrine injection like Auvi-Q or Epipen. You should carry your epinephrine to treat symptoms related to anaphylaxis. Train your friends and family on administering the medication in case you can’t do it yourself. Be sure to book an appointment with NY Allergy & Sinus Centers for a personalized treatment plan for apple allergy.

Apple Allergy Frequently Asked Questions

What Causes Apple Allergy?

Apple allergy is usually related to pollen, which means if you are allergic to pollen, you may be allergic to apples as well. 

Does Apple Cross-react With Other Fruits?

A significant cross-reactivity is seen between apples and other members of the Rosaceae family and also with kiwi, grapes, birch pollen, and group 4 grass pollen allergens. If you are allergic to apples, we recommend getting allergy tested to see if you are allergic to other fruits as well.

How Is Apple Allergy Diagnosed?

Allergists use allergy testing to diagnose apple allergies. Allergy testing may include a skin prick test or food challenge in a safe, clinical setting.

How Is Apple Allergy Treated?

There isn’t currently treatment for apple allergy. The best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid apples. However, in cases of severe allergic reactions, epinephrine can treat anaphylaxis. Antihistamines may treat less severe symptoms. Contact an NYC allergist to learn how to manage your apple allergy.

Is Apple Allergy Curable?

Apple allergy is not curable. However, some individuals experience less severity of the allergy as they grow older.