An allergic reaction to strawberries can lead to a variety of symptoms, depending on an individual reaction as well as the severity of the allergy. The most common symptom of this type of allergy is a condition called oral allergy syndrome, which is confined to the mouth and throat. Additional symptoms may include sneezing, watery eyes, or runny nose. Skin reactions and gastrointestinal disturbances are also possible signs of an allergic reaction. A severe reaction known as anaphylaxis may sometimes occur, and it can be fatal if not treated immediately.
In most cases, a person who is allergic to strawberries will develop oral allergy syndrome, which typically causes itching, swelling, and tingling of the mouth and throat. The lips, tongue, and palate may be affected as well. There may be a red ring surrounding the lips almost immediately after consuming a product containing strawberries. If these symptoms develop, the person should contact a medical professional to make sure that more severe symptoms do not occur.
A mild allergic reaction to strawberries may sometimes be confused with other allergies, such as hay fever. These symptoms often include itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, and a runny nose. It may become difficult to breathe through the nose, and those with respiratory illnesses such as asthma may notice that they get worse. Those who do not have asthma may experience symptoms that mimic this condition, such as wheezing, tightness of the chest, and labored breathing.
Skin reactions are common among those with allergic reactions. This normally involves redness and swelling around the mouth, although a rash may develop all over the body, especially in the more severe cases. Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea or abdominal cramping, should be reported to a medical professional to make sure that serious complications are not present.
The most severe type of allergic reaction to strawberries is a potentially life-threatening condition known as anaphylaxis. This often causes the face, lips, and tongue to swell, and a rash or hives may develop anywhere on the body. The throat may swell to the point where it becomes difficult or even impossible to breathe. These symptoms should be treated as a medical emergency, as a lack of oxygen can cause permanent brain damage or even death within a matter of minutes if not treated immediately. Hospitalization may be necessary, and supportive care may be needed in order to help the patient breathe or to assist in regulating the heartbeat.