Resource Center: Oral Allergy Syndrome

Oral Allergy Syndrome is typically seen in people who also suffer from seasonal pollen allergies (ex: hay fever). People who suffer from OAS typically will experience symptoms of a scratchy or itchy mouth when they eat certain raw fruits or vegetables. Most people with OAS can eat these vegetables cooked because the cooking process breaks down the cross-reacting proteins.

What is the age of onset?

Typically we don’t see this in younger children. Adults, teens, and older children will develop OAS many years after eating the trigger food with no allergic reaction.

Is there a relation to hay fever?

There appears to be a link between the two. Seasonal allergies or hay fever are usually present before oral symptoms to foods begin. Oral allergy symptoms can also be worse during pollen season.


Most patients will experience itchiness in the mouth, throat, ears, and potentially swelling of the lips.


Most reactions will resolve on their own. Some patients may require Benadryl.

Common pollen-food associations*

* These are only potential pollen combinations. Patients may develop a reaction to some cross-reacting fruits and vegetables but not all.

  • Alder pollen: Parsley, Pears, Hazelnuts, Cherries, Celery, Apples,
  • Birch pollen: Wheat, Strawberries, Soy, Potatoes, Prunes, Plums, Peppers, Pears, Peaches, Parsnips, Parsley, Nectarines, Kiwis, Hazelnuts, Fig, Fennel, Coriander, Chicory, Cherries, Celery, Avocados, Apricots, Apples, Almonds. Potential: Walnuts
  • Grass pollen: Oranges, Tomatoes, Melons, Figs
  • Mugwort pollen: Sunflower, Peppers, Parsley, Fennel, Coriander, Celery, Carrots
  • Ragweed pollen: Hibiscus or Chamomile Tea, Dandelions, Artichoke, Echinacea, Zucchini, Watermelon, Honeydew, Cucumber, Cantaloupe, Banana.

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