Grab the tissues – it’s pollen time! You’ve probably been the victim of itchy eyes, but does your mouth get itchy too? If so, you may have oral allergy syndrome.
Oral allergies happen when your body’s immune system reacts to proteins in fruits or vegetables that are similar to those in pollen. If you have a reaction to certain foods, you may experience itching or hives in your mouth.
Don’t let it drive you crazy. Be aware of foods that can cause allergy triggers:
If you’re allergic to ragweed, you may find yourself reacting to tomatoes, bananas and melons (cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon). People with birch pollen allergies may react to apples, pears, peaches, plums, celery, parsley, carrots and almonds.
Grass allergy sufferers may react to peaches, tomatoes, melons, celery and oranges. Even Latex allergies can have reactions to food – particularly bananas, avocados, kiwis and papaya.
Not everyone who is allergic to pollen has oral allergy syndrome. But if you think you have an oral allergy, see an allergist, who can do a skin-prick test to find out for certain. Your allergist can also determine how severe the allergy is.
If a food irritates you, avoid it. Or change how you eat it. Try the following:
• Can it. The proteins in the food will break down and your allergy symptoms will go away.
• Peel it or cook it. Most trigger proteins are in a peel. Cooking the food also will break down the allergens.
If your oral allergies continue to bother you, ask your dentist if he or she has any oral health care tips for you!