Oral allergy syndrome

This is a form of cross-reactivity in an allergic person, most commonly between birch pollen and rosacea fruits (these are apples, pears, plums and peaches). It presents as oral symptoms in patients with hay fever on eating the offending fruit.

Typically:

  • the symptoms are variable in intensity
  • the offending fruits have previously been eaten without difficulty for years
  • symptoms are not severe

Sometimes, the cross-reactivity can spread to an increasing number of foods and become a problem, in which case a specialist referral is probably worthwhile.

(Pulse on-line learning module on food allergies)

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About Dr Sarah

I'm a GP with a husband and two young children.
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