What is Oral Allergy Syndrome?

What is Oral Allergy Syndrome?

Oral Allergy Syndrome: Explained

Also known as pollen-fruit allergy syndrome, oral allergy syndrome (OAS) is a common food-related allergy that most often affects adults. In this case, your body confuses the protein in fruits or vegetables to the protein present in pollen — because their proteins are often structured the same.

Patients who are allergic to pollen from birch trees, grass, and ragweed are most commonly found to develop OAS.

Symptoms of Oral Allergy Syndrome

The allergic reaction a patient with OAS experiences is very similar to a normal allergic reaction, and they typically are concentrated around the mouth. Common symptoms may include:

  • Scratchy throat
  • Sneezing and nasal congestion
  • Swollen or numb lips
  • Itchiness or tingling in the tongue and roof of the mouth

Patients with OAS do not typically have a severe allergic reaction, but anaphylaxis does occur in around 2% of people, while systemic symptoms occur in up to 9% of people.

Common Oral Allergy Syndrome Food Triggers

Different people living with OAS experience different allergic reactions to a multitude of foods that contain similarly structured proteins as pollen.

Some of the most common triggers of OAS include:

  • Fruits like bananas, cherries, oranges, peaches, and apples
  • Vegetables like zucchini, celery, cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots, and tomatoes
  • Fresh herbs such as parsley or cilantro
  • Tree nuts such as hazelnuts and almonds — though OAS is different from other nut allergies that otherwise prove to be fatal.
  • Sunflower seeds

Diagnosing and Treating Oral Allergy Syndrome at Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia

Only your allergy specialist can diagnose you with oral allergy syndrome. If you feel you may have OAS, speak with our doctors at Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia. Options for treating OAS include:

  • Over-the-counter medications: Antihistamines that are often used for hay fever can help reduce oral allergy symptoms.
  • Immunotherapy: At Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia, we offer allergy drops and allergy shots to treat and reduce allergy symptoms and reactions. Speak with our board-certified specialists about the option best for your condition.
  • Buying canned fruits and vegetables.
  • Peel the skin off of fruits and vegetables: The protein found in fresh fruits and vegetables resides in the skin, and removing the skin can help reduce the chance of a reaction.

Schedule your same-day appointment with Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia today to discuss allergy shot treatment options for oral allergy syndrome management.


Our offices practice a no-wait appointment policy for all new and existing patients and offer same-day and next-day appointments. Contact us at (770) 285-5200 or visit us online to book your appointment 24/7!