Despite your assurances that the fruit you just ate doesn’t make you feel itchy around the mouth, you suddenly feel itchy after eating an apple, kiwi, or some berries.
Experts call this phenomenon oral allergy syndrome (OAS), also called pollen fruit syndrome (PFT). It’s a pretty standard indisposition, which is caused by cross-reactivity.
It means your body recognizes the protein in the fresh fruit you just consumed as similar to the one found in pollen, which you are allergic to.
What Is Oral Allergy Syndrome?
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, OAS is caused by contact between raw fruits and vegetables and the mouth and throat.
Dr. Svetlana Kriegel explains, “It’s usually a reaction to fresh fruits, nuts or vegetables that develops in patients who have hay fever, an allergy to tree, grass or wheat pollens.”
How Do Cross-Reactors Work?
It is generally believed that four categories of environmental allergens cross-react with fruits, vegetables, and nuts, causing allergic reactions.
Specific kinds of pollen are more prevalent at certain times of the year, just as particular fruits are in season.
Symptoms Of Oral Allergy Syndrome?
The symptoms of the disease are usually limited to the mouth.
Marks-Cogan explained, “When we digest the fruits, vegetables, and nuts, the protein gets broken down in our system, and it no longer looks like it did when it first caused the reaction.”
It results in burning, itching, and tingling of lips, throat, and mouth.
Can You Prevent A Reaction?
The easiest way to avoid being allergic to fruits, vegetables, and nuts is to avoid eating them simply.
Interestingly, people typically don’t react when they consume these foods in non-raw form.
How Should We Proceed Post-Reaction?
Experts note that these aren’t true food allergies, so symptoms usually subside on their own.
Consider taking a skin test to determine what pollen you are allergic to after determining what fruits, vegetables, and nuts are causing the reaction.