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Oral Allergy Syndrome: Understanding the Triggers, Symptoms, and Treatment

 Posted on July 17, 2023 in Uncategorized


Also known as pollen-food syndrome, Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS) is a relatively common condition affecting individuals with environmental allergies. Simply put, your immune system considers proteins in certain fruits, vegetables, and nuts as pollen proteins and reacts to them, causing itching, tingling, or swelling of the mouth, lips, and throat. According to reports, 47-70% of people with pollen allergies have Oral Allergy Syndrome, including children under the age of 3. Read on to learn about the triggers, symptoms, treatment, and prevention tips of Oral Allergy Syndrome.

What Are the Causes of Oral Allergy Syndrome?

Oral Allergy Syndrome is primarily caused by cross-reactivity between proteins found in certain fruits, vegetables, and nuts and environmental allergens. The immune system recognizes similar proteins in pollen and certain foods, leading to an allergic response. Refer to the table below to learn about the common triggers of Oral Allergy Syndrome:

If You Are Allergic To

You May Have an Oral Allergy Reaction to the Following Foods

Birch Tree Pollen

Vegetables – Celery and Carrots

Tree Nuts – Hazelnuts and Almonds

Stone Fruits – Plums, Peaches, Cherries, and Apricots

Seed Fruits – Pears, Kiwis, Apples, and Avocados

Legumes – Soybeans and Peanuts

Herbs – Parsley, Fennel, Coriander, Caraway, and Aniseed

Ragweed Pollen

Zucchini, Melons, Cucumbers, Bananas, Artichokes

Grass Pollen

Tomatoes, Swiss Chard, Potatoes, Oranges, and Melons


Tomato, Melon, Apple, Citrus Fruits, and Peach


Hazelnut, Almond, Celery, Parsley, Pear, Peach, Cherry, and Apple

Mugwort Pollen

Herbs – Parsley, Fennel, Coriander, Caraway, and Aniseed

Vegetables – Onion, Parsnip, Broccoli, Celery, Cauliflower, Carrot, and Cabbage

Peppers, Mustard, and Garlic


Pistachio, Melon, Cherry, and Peach


Papaya, Chestnut, Kiwi, Avocado, and Bananas


Scallops, Clams, Oysters, Snails, and Peanut


Fermented Moldy Foods, Vinegar, Mushrooms, and Cheeses


Note: Although eating trigger foods can cause an allergic reaction, ingesting them during the pollen season can make it worse. Therefore, learning about your unique case of Oral Allergy Syndrome is advised. Also, when visiting a restaurant, don't forget to notify the chef about your allergies.

What Are the Symptoms of Oral Allergy Syndrome?

Oral Allergy Syndrome symptoms will start showing up as soon as you have eaten any of the above-mentioned trigger foods. The common signs of Oral Allergy Syndrome include bumps in the mouth or on lips, tingling, itching, minor swelling of the throat, tongue, mouth, or lips, nasal congestion, sneezing, and a sore throat.

However, in a severe allergic reaction, a person might feel nauseous, have trouble breathing, and suffer from redness, swelling, hives, dizziness, diarrhea, or skin rashes.

Oral Allergy Syndrome | Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing Oral Allergy Syndrome involves a comprehensive evaluation of an individual's medical history and specific allergy tests.

● Allergy Skin Test: Allergists may perform skin prick tests or blood tests to identify specific IgE antibodies associated with common environmental allergens.

● Food Challenge Test: An oral food challenge may be conducted, where the suspected trigger food is ingested under medical supervision to observe any allergic reactions.

Like allergic reactions, there's no proper treatment for Pollen-Food Allergy Syndrome. Typically, an allergic reaction might subside in 30 minutes. However, if it doesn't or is severe, taking antihistamine medication can help control the symptoms and stop the allergic reaction. The two standard Oral Allergy Syndrome treatments are as follows:

● Epinephrine: Inject yourself with an Epi-Pen. Doing so will reduce the swelling and reopen the airways, helping you breathe again.

● Antihistamine: Over-the-counter medications like Allegra (Fexofenadine), Claritin (Loratadine), and Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) work by blocking chemicals in the body, controlling the allergic reaction.

When Should You Consult a Healthcare Provider?

If your face and tongue swell or you have trouble breathing, and the antihistamine isn't helping, go to the emergency room right away. Here are some v Oral Allergy Syndrome-related questions that you should ask your healthcare provider:

● What foods can I eat?

● What foods should I avoid?

● How bad is my allergy?

● What is the best way to manage my allergy symptoms?

If not treated on time, Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS) can develop into hyper food sensitivity syndromes like Allergic Proctocolitis, Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome, Celiac Disease, and Food-Protein Induced Enteropathy.

Oral Allergy Syndrome | Prevention Tips

While the easiest way to prevent Pollen-Food Allergy Syndrome symptoms is by not eating the trigger foods, here are some tips that can reduce or prevent an Oral Allergy Syndrome allergic reaction:

● Heat processing or cooking foods can often alter the proteins that trigger Oral Allergy Syndrome. Steaming, baking, or microwaving may be effective methods to reduce allergenicity. Thus, people with Oral Allergy Syndrome should only eat cooked foods, pasteurized foods, and sauces.

● Eating allergy medications regularly.

● Purchase canned vegetables and fruits.

● Seasonal allergies get worse during fall, summer, or spring. Try not to eat trigger foods during this time of the year.

● Peel fruits or vegetables before eating.

● Get immunotherapy (allergy shots).

● Consult an allergist to identify trigger foods and develop an appropriate Oral Allergy Syndrome management plan.

Seek Justice for Your Food Poisoning Case with Newland & Newland LLP

Have you or your loved one suffered from Oral Allergy Syndrome or food poisoning and believe it was due to the negligence of a manufacturer, food supplier, or restaurant? Seek legal assistance from Newland & Newland LLP. Our highly experienced and qualified team of attorneys specialize in handling cases related to foodborne illnesses and are dedicated to protecting your rights and seeking the compensation you deserve.

Contact us to schedule a free consultation with the best food allergy lawsuit attorney in Arlington Heights, Chicago, Libertyville, Crystal Lake, Joliet, and Itasca. Let us fight for justice on your behalf.

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