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Allergy shots may be an effective treatment for pediatric pollen food allergy syndrome

November 08, 2019

HOUSTON (Nov.8, 2019) - We know that children with pollen food allergy syndrome (PFAS) also suffer from seasonal allergies. A new study being presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting in Houston shows that allergy shots (subcutaneous immunotherapy) can be effective in reducing PFAS symptoms for pediatric patients.

Pollen food allergy syndrome (also known as oral allergy syndrome) is caused by cross-reacting allergens found in both pollen and raw fruits, vegetables or some tree nuts. Symptoms usually include itchy mouth, scratchy throat or swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue and throat.

"We surveyed 20 pediatric patients between the ages of 9 and 18 receiving allergy shots as treatment for mugwort, timothy and orchard grass allergies," says allergist Alana Jones, DO, ACAAI member and co-author of the study. "All 20 patients reported PFAS symptoms. Of the 20 surveyed, 11 (55 percent) described improvement or resolution of their symptoms. Four (20 percent) reported unchanged symptoms and five (25 percent) reported they hadn't tried to reintroduce foods they'd previously reacted to."

PFAS typically does not appear in young children. It is more common in older children, teens and young adults who have been eating the fruits or vegetables in question for years without any problems. In addition, young children under the age of 3 do not usually develop hay fever until after they are toddlers. Hay fever is associated with reactions to the pollens that cross-react with the foods. Those with PFAS typically have allergy to either tree, weed, and/or grass pollens.

"Research has shown that adults who are receive allergy shots see improvement in PFAS symptoms, but the effect hasn't been widely shown in pediatric patients," says Dr. Jones. "We think it's an important finding, especially for kids who are receiving allergy shots and also suffering from PFAS."

Presentation Title: The Effects of Allergen Subcutaneous Immunotherapy on Symptoms of Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome
Presenter: Alana Jones, DO
-end-
For more information about allergies and asthma, or to locate an allergist in your area, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org. The ACAAI Annual Meeting is Nov. 7-11 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. For more news and research from the ACAAI Scientific Meeting, go to our newsroom - and follow the conversation on Twitter #ACAAI19.

About ACAAI

The ACAAI is a professional medical organization of more than 6,000 allergists-immunologists and allied health professionals, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill. The College fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research. ACAAI allergists are board-certified physicians trained to diagnose allergies and asthma, administer immunotherapy and provide patients with the best treatment outcomes. For more information and to find relief, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org. Join us on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology

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