Allergies

What is Oyster allergy?

Oyster is a shellfish which can be eaten both raw or cooked. It is used as an ingredient in sauces and soups. Oyster can cause allergy, resulting in itchiness/burning in the mouth, It can also result in severe allergic reaction. Oyster allergy is classified under shellfish allergy. People allergic to oyster can also be allergic to other kinds of shellfish.

Oyster allergy is caused due to the protein, tropomyosin present in the oyster.

Oyster allergy and Related allergies:

People allergic to oyster may also be allergic to other shellfish. This is because similar proteins are found both in oyster and other kinds of shellfish.

Oyster belongs to the mollusks family. Hence, an individual with oyster allergy can also be allergic to other molluscks such as clams, mussels, scallops, and abalone. Similarly, one can also be allergic to other shellfish such as lobster, crab and shrimp.

Symptoms of Oyster allergy:

  • Oral allergy syndrome resulting in itching around the mouth/lips/tongue. Burning/tingling/swelling of the mouth, lips and tongue
  • Skin reactions such as hives, rashes and redness
  • Gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Severe allergic symptoms such as breathlessness, dizziness, low blood pressure. These are the symptoms of anaphylaxis. If these symptoms are observed, the patient should be immediately given epinephrine

Prevention of Oyster allergy:

  • Avoid oyster in all forms. Be careful while eating other shellfish as they can also cause allergy
  • Read the food labels to check if the product contains oyster. However, not all food products mention the presence of oyster
  • Be careful while eating out. Find out the ingredients present in the dish. Oyster can be present in soups and sauces
  • Be careful of cross-contamination while cooking at home

Treatment:

  • Skin prick test and blood test are conducted to check for allergy. While testing for oyster allergy, it is important to get yourself tested for other shellfish allergies too. You can consult your allergist to get yourself tested and for treatment options
  • Antihistamines and topical corticosteroids are used to treat the allergic reaction
  • Always carry an epinephrine and use it when you experience severe allergic symptoms

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