Are Fruits and Vegetables Making Your Mouth Itchy? You May Have Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS)

OAS Infographic

 

This information has been reviewed and approved by Carah Santos, MD (March 2017).

 

Summary: Are Fruits and Vegetables Making Your Mouth Itchy?

If your mouth or throat gets itchy when you eat certain raw foods and you have pollen allergies, then you may have oral allergy syndrome (OAS). OAS is an allergic reaction to fruits and vegetables that have similar proteins to certain pollens.

 

Foods That May Cause Oral Allergy Syndrome:

  • Apple, Apricot, Carrot, Celery, Cherry, Kiwi, Peach, Pear, Plum, Almond and Hazelnut

  • Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Orange, Tomato, Watermelon

  • Banana, Cantaloupe, Carrot, Celery, Cucumber, Honeydew, Peach, Watermelon, Zucchini

Allergy:

  • Spring tree pollen: Birch

  • Summer grass pollen: Timothy & Orchard

  • Fall weed pollen: Mugwort & Ragweed

 

Signs:

Itching or swelling of the mouth, lip, tongue, or throat

OAS is an allergic reaction to fruits and vegetables that have similar proteins to certain pollens.

Tips and Treatment:

  • Avoid raw foods that cross-react with your pollen allergens.

  • Take oral antihistamine medications to relieve mild symptoms.

  • Bake or cook foods to degrade the protein and eliminate the cross reaction.

  • Eat canned fruits or vegetables during your pollen season.

  • Peel the food as the protein is often concentrated in the skin.

Call an allergist when OAS symptoms get worse or occur when eating nuts. 

 

More Information on Oral Allergy Syndrome


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