What is Oral Allergy Syndrome (O.A.S.) or Food Pollen Syndrome?
Food Pollen Syndrome is a localized allergic reaction in the mouth following the consumption of food. Have you ever experienced swelling of the lips or a scratchy throat after eating certain fruits, vegetables, or nuts? This may be an indication of O.A.S., also known as pollen-food syndrome. The immune system identifies the part of the food that is similar to the pollen and elicits an allergic reaction. O.A.S. affects up to 70% of people with a pollen allergy.
Foods that cause O.A.S.
An allergist can conduct allergy tests and examine your history of symptoms to diagnose O.A.S. If you are allergic to pollen, there is a reasonable probability that you may experience oral allergy symptoms. Note that you should not attempt to diagnose yourself with O.A.S by eating the trigger foods above; you should be in a safe, clinical setting under the care of an allergist. Your allergist may want to do a challenge to certain foods in the office based on your allergy test results. Your allergist may prescribe an epinephrine auto injector like epipen or Auvi-Q in certain situations if they are worried about the possibility of a life-threatening reaction.
If you suffer from pollen allergies, it is best to avoid the foods that cause O.A.S. While most symptoms of O.A.S. are mild, they can become a severe allergic reaction. If you can’t avoid your favorite foods, there are other ways to reduce your symptoms:
- Cook, can or heat your food. O.A.S. is usually triggered by raw foods. Cooking your food may eliminate the allergens.
- Avoid the outer layer of fruits and vegetables. The protein that contains allergens is usually concentrated in the skin.
- Contact one of our allergists to receive an individualized treatment plan.
If you are concerned about O.A.S., the allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers have access to the latest allergy testing and immunotherapy treatment. We offer services at our many convenient allergy and sinus clinics throughout Manhattan:
Murray Hill, Midtown, Upper West Side, Chelsea, Upper East Side, and in Queens: Glendale and Hollis.
We are here to help! Call (212) 686-4448 to book your appointment today.
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