Food hypersensitivity by inhalation - not widely recognized but it can cause major morbidity

Though not widely recognized, food hypersensitivity by inhalation can cause major morbidity.

The exposure is usually more obvious in job settings but frequently occurs in homes, schools, restaurants, grocery stores, and commercial flights. The exposure can be trivial, as in mere smelling or being in the vicinity of the food.

The clinical manifestations can vary from a benign respiratory or cutaneous reaction to a systemic one that can be life-threatening. Asthma is a strong predisposing factor and should be well-controlled.

It is of great significance that food inhalation can cause de novo sensitization.


Eight top allergens account for 90 percent of all food allergies. The 8 top allergens can be remembered by the mnemonic TEMPS WFS.

References:
Food hypersensitivity by inhalation. Daniel A Ramirez, Jr#1 and Sami L Bahna#1. Clin Mol Allergy. 2009; 7: 4.

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