Oral allergy syndrome (oral allergy syndrome differently or naturally OAS) is a set of symptoms looking after the consumption of certain products that are allergens. It can be caused by, among other fruits, vegetables, or nuts. The most common symptoms of OAS are swelling of the mouth and lips, hives in the hands or other parts of the body, and pinching or tingling of the lips.
What exactly is oral allergy syndrome?
OAS most often affects people who are allergic to plant pollen. After a meal consisting of products cross-reacting with plant pollen (i.e., containing the same allergens), symptoms of breath and food allergy appear. Oral allergy syndrome can be hazardous, especially if it leads to anaphylactic shock – then the fast response of the environment and keeping your blood cold counts.
Most often, people who are allergic to birch pollen suffer from OAS. The possibility of its occurrence increases in the case of adults (especially women), additionally allergic to hazel pollen and coping with the disease for many years. Oral allergy syndrome may also intensify the presence in the family of people suffering from atopic dermatitis, not without consequence is the lack of attempts to desensitize using a birch pollen vaccine.
Foods that cross-react with birch pollen are primarily:
- spices – curry, pepper, cumin, anise, coriander
People allergic to hazel pollen may also expect cross-reactions after consuming hazelnuts and walnuts.
What are the symptoms of food allergy syndrome?
The OAS process can be divided into two stages. In the first of these symptoms appear typical for inhaled pollen allergy, so it is mainly allergic rhinitis. In the second phase, syndromes characteristic of food allergies appear – itching, burning, and redness of the mouth, lips, larynx, and throat.
Sometimes, additional symptoms appear – this applies especially to children – such as:
- nausea and vomiting
- stomach pain
- skin rash around the mouth
- the feeling of blocked ear
Most often, the symptoms of oral allergy syndrome initially only appear after eating raw foods. For example, an allergic person may notice specific symptoms after peeling and eating an apple, but drinking juice or compote from these fruits may not cause any discomfort. Over time, the symptoms of OAS may increase and appear more often, also during skin contact with fruits or vegetables.
How it is diagnosed?
People who suspect OAS should go to a doctor’s consultation. You will need skin tests and blood tests to detect allergies. If the skin tests give a positive result and blood tests show that the concentration of IgE allergen-specific antibodies is increasing, then the patient is most likely among those who may develop oral allergy syndrome.
Can OAS be cured?
In the treatment of oral allergy used in immunotherapy, or feeling it involves repeatedly administering increasing doses of the allergen to a patient to whom he is allergic. This is the only causal method of treating allergies. In essence, it is intended to reduce a person’s sensitivity to a specific allergen, and consequently lead to complete exclusion or reduction of the severity of allergy symptoms.
If a sick person develops OAS symptoms, it is recommended to rinse the mouth with water and use antihistamines. If breathing problems arise due to inflammation of the throat, you should call an ambulance immediately. To minimize the risk of symptoms, avoid foods that can cause oral allergy syndrome.
What does oral allergy syndrome look like in children?
In children, the symptoms of OAS look the same as in adults. When, after eating a meal, the child begins to complain of tingling or stinging of the lips, tearing, swelling of the mouth, or nausea, they should quickly be persuaded to rinse their mouth and take the appropriate medicine. In these situations, you should, first of all, remain calm, because the toddler can get even more nervous.
When talking about OAS in the context of children, do not forget about an allergic march. The variability of progressive allergies accompanies the child’s development – although it is born without allergy symptoms, it can begin at any age. The first symptoms of the disease sometimes appear already in infancy.
The primary methods of treatment include not only avoiding allergens, but also any contact with them – also when preparing meals. It may happen that initially, allergic children will not have any symptoms, especially after eating heat-treated products. However, as with adults, oral allergy syndrome will increase over time.