Apple allergy only affects a small percentage of individuals. Even though it is considered as a low incidence food, it can trigger oral allergy symptoms among individuals who are allergic to the birch pollen. These individuals might end up with sensitivities to only uncooked apples or apple skins.
The cross-reactivity with the birch pollen and fruits linked to apples can confuse a diagnosis of an actual apple allergy. The individual should monitor his/her symptoms and consult a doctor.
What are the oral symptoms?
The allergy symptoms of the mouth, lips and throat might occur before other indications of apple allergy arise or might show a cross-reaction particularly during the spring pollination season of birch trees.
Itchy and tingling lips or throat might arise after consuming apples along with itchiness and elevated bumps within the mouth. The individual might also have sensitivities to fruits associated with apples such as pears and quinces. If the individual can consume cooked apples without any issues, allergic reactions to the birch pollen might be responsible for the apple cross-reactions.
Similar with other food allergies, an apple allergy typically initiates additional skin itchiness often with a topical rash after an hour or so of consuming apples.
Patchy, reddened or flaky skin might continue or lead to hives. The affected area might also feel painful or tender and swelling might be localized or on one of the eyelids or the face. Take note that severe swelling can shut the eyes closed.
The respiratory signs might be due to the tissue inflammation or indicate the start of anaphylaxis. Individuals with moderate to severe swelling usually end up with difficulty swallowing or breathing.
The inflamed mucous membranes can obstruct the airways which results to nasal congestion, runny nose and shortness of breath.
The digestive issues might arise sometime after consuming apples once it has moved through the digestive tract. Diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting can manifest abruptly even though hours might have passed since the apples were consumed.
When is it an emergency?
In rare instances, the physical changes triggered by apple allergy can induce anaphylaxis which is a systemic bodily reaction that can be deadly. Call for emergency assistance if the individual has a weak or racing pulse, lightheadedness, difficulty speaking or abruptly loses consciousness.