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HealthInfo Canterbury

Oral allergy syndrome

Oral allergy syndrome is caused by a cross-reaction between pollens in the air and some proteins found in fruit and vegetables. Common symptoms are tingling, itching, redness, and swelling of the mouth, lips, and sometimes the throat. This normally happens within five to 10 minutes of eating fresh fruits or vegetables.

Many people with oral allergy syndrome also have pollen allergies. See your general practice team if you have experienced these symptoms.

Oral allergy syndrome can cause anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency and requires urgent treatment.

There is no treatment for oral allergy syndrome except to avoid the fruits and vegetables that cause you to have reactions. Generally, cooked fruit and vegetables don't cause any problems. Some people find they can eat fruits or vegetables that cause problems, but only if they are peeled or have been frozen.

In Canterbury, birch pollen allergy is a major cause of oral allergy syndrome.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Reviewed October 2015.

Page reference: 48934

Review key: HIOAS-25338