Have you ever eaten a piece of fruit or a vegetable, which triggers irritation or itching in your mouth? Maybe you bite into mouthwatering watermelon, cantaloupe or a juicy peach and your lips or tongue starts itching. This sounds food allergy, but it is actually Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS). As the name suggests, Oral Allergy Syndrome is an allergy pertaining to the mouth. The syndrome is not food allergy. It is rather connected to pollen and seasonal allergies. May be you are one of the millions, who are allergic to pollen, which also sets them up to reaction to certain food items. Go through the following lines to know more about Oral Allergy Syndrome.
What Is Oral Allergy Syndrome
Scientifically speaking, Oral Allergy Syndrome is a Type 1 or IgE-meditated immune response. People often name it as 'true allergy'. The IgE antibodies produced by the human body react against pollen. In the case of OAS, either these antibodies bind to or cross-react with other structurally similar proteins found in botanically related plants. The immune system mistakes the food proteins for the pollen proteins and causes the allergic reaction in the mouth, which in turn causes itching in the mouth and tongue. In simple words, OAS is the allergic reaction to certain fruits, nuts and vegetables, which are in their fresh forms. It might trigger a cluster of allergic reactions in the mouth, when the person eats such food.
Oral Allergy Syndrome is a time-bound ailment. The allergic reaction to foods may occur during the pollen season. People who are already sensitive to pollen are more prone to OAS. Ragweed pollen and birch tree pollen allergy are the most common causes of Oral Allergy Syndrome. The peak season of ragweed pollen is fall. However, since ragweed begins blooming in mid-August, chances of the people suffering from it during the season cannot be ruled out. Early summer and springs are the season, when tree pollen levels are at the peak. Therefore, Oral Allergy Syndrome occurs in conjunction with season allergy triggers.
Some of the most common symptoms of Oral Allergy Syndrome are itching or burning sensation in the lips, mouth or throat. The lips of the person, suffering from the syndrome, might swell. Sensation of tightness in the throat is seldom felt by people, but it cannot be ruled out. They may suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, severe indigestion or cramps, after eating a trigger-food. OAS may also lead to anaphylaxis, but is a rare symptom. Sometimes, one might incur allergic reactions triggered in the eyes, nose and skin. A person allergic to ragweed pollen might incur running nose and drippy eyes, when exposed to the pollen.
If a person is allergic to ragweed pollen, then he/she might be allergic to banana, cucumber, melons, zucchini, sunflower seeds and chamomile tea. People allergic to birch pollen might incur the symptoms of OAS, on account of consumption of trigger foods including almonds, apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, carrots, celery, cherries, chicory, coriander, fennel, fig, hazelnuts, kiwifruit, nectarines, parsley, parsnips, peaches, pears, peppers, plums, potatoes, prunes, soy, strawberries and wheat.