What is oral allergy syndrome?
Oral allergy syndrome, or OAS, is an allergic reaction that usually happens only in the mouth and throat. People with OAS can react to specific foods, such as certain fruits and vegetables. When they eat food they're allergic to, they may notice itching, tingling, swelling, and redness of the lips, mouth, or throat — often within minutes.
People who are allergic to pollen are more likely to have OAS. In fact, OAS is also called pollen-food allergy syndrome. The immune system gets confused and thinks that the foods being eaten are similar to pollen that the person is allergic to. Many people with OAS can eat these same foods without any problems if they are cooked, not raw. That's because cooking changes the food enough that the immune system no longer thinks it is a threat.
OAS usually only involves mild symptoms in the mouth and throat. But, rarely, the reaction also can affect other parts of the body or cause more serious symptoms, like difficulty breathing. If there's a concern that your child is at risk of a more serious reaction, your doctor might prescribe emergency medicine to always have available.
If the doctor thinks your child has OAS, he or she may give you a list of foods to avoid or to be careful with. The doctor also can give you other tips to make a reaction less likely, such as peeling or cooking the food before offering it to your child.
Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: April 2015
|American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology offers up-to-date information and a find-an-allergist search tool.|
|American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology The ACAAI is an organization of allergists-immunologists and health professionals dedicated to quality patient care. Contact them at: American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology|
85 W. Algonquin Road
Suite 550 Arlington Heights, IL 60005
|Allergy and Asthma Network/Mothers of Asthmatics (AAN-MA) Through education, advocacy, community outreach, and research, AAN-MA hopes to eliminate suffering and fatalities due to asthma and allergies. AAN-MA offers news, drug recall information, tips, and more for treating allergies and asthma. Call: (800) 878-4403|
|Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) works on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis.|
|Seasonal Allergies (Hay Fever) At various times of the year, pollen and mold spores trigger the cold-like symptoms associated with seasonal allergies. Most kids find relief through reduced exposure to allergens or with medications.|
|Egg Allergy Living with an egg allergy means you have to be aware of what you're eating and read food labels carefully. Here are some tips for teens who have an egg allergy.|
|Food Allergies and Travel Taking precautions and carrying meds are just part of normal life for someone who has a food allergy. Here are some tips on how to make travel also feel perfectly routine.|
|Serious Allergic Reactions (Anaphylaxis) Kids with severe allergies can be at risk for a sudden, serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. The good news is it can be prevented and treated.|
|Nut and Peanut Allergy If your child is allergic to nuts or peanuts, it's essential to learn what foods might contain them and how to avoid them.|
|Allergies Your eyes itch, your nose is running, you're sneezing, and you're covered in hives. The enemy known as allergies has struck again.|
|Food Allergies and Food Sensitivities Find more than 30 articles in English and Spanish about all aspects of food allergies in children.|
|Food Allergies Struggling with strawberries? Petrified of peanuts? Sorry you ate shellfish? Maybe you have a food allergy. Find out more in this article for kids.|
|Learning About Allergies During an allergic reaction, your body's immune system goes into overdrive. Find out more in this article for kids.|
|5 Ways to Be Prepared for an Allergy Emergency Quick action is essential during a serious allergic reaction. It helps to remind yourself of action steps so they become second nature if there's an emergency. Here's what to do.|
|Egg Allergy Babies sometimes have an allergic reaction to eggs. If that happens, they can't eat eggs for a while. But the good news is that most kids outgrow this allergy by age 5.|
|Nut and Peanut Allergy A growing number of kids are allergic to nuts and peanuts. Find out more about this problem and how allergic kids can stay healthy.|
|Nut and Peanut Allergy Peanuts are one of the most common allergy-causing foods, and they often find their way into things you wouldn't imagine. Learn the facts on living with a nut or peanut allergy.|
|If My Child Has Food Allergies, What Should I Look for When Reading Food Labels? Food labels can help you spot allergens your child must avoid. Find out more.|
|Food Allergies Food allergies can cause serious and even deadly reactions in kids, so it's important to know how to feed a child with food allergies and to prevent reactions.|
|What Is Skin Testing for Allergies? A scratch or skin prick test is a common way doctors find out more about a person's allergies.|
|Allergy Testing Doctors use several different types of allergy tests, depending on what a person may be allergic to. Find out what to expect from allergy tests.|
|Serious Allergic Reactions (Anaphylaxis) A person with severe allergies can be at risk for a sudden, serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This reaction can seem scary, but the good news is it can be treated.|
|All About Allergies Up to 50 million Americans, including millions of kids, have an allergy. Find out how allergies are diagnosed and how to keep them under control.|
|Allergy Shots Many kids battle allergies year-round, and some can't control their symptoms with medications. For them, allergy shots (or allergen immunotherapy) can be beneficial.|
|Hives (Urticaria) Has your child broken out in welts? It could be a case of the hives. Learn how to soothe itchy bumps and help your child feel better.|
What to expect when coming to Akron Children's
For healthcare providers and nurses
Residency & Fellowships, Medical Students, Nursing and Allied Health
For prospective employees and career-seekers
Our online community that provides inspirational stories and helpful information.