Orange Allergy: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment Guide

Wyndly Care Team
Dedicated to giving everyone incredible care

Can you be allergic to oranges?

Yes, you can be allergic to oranges. Symptoms of an orange allergy can include itching, redness, swelling, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, it could lead to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction. It's always best to seek medical advice if an allergy is suspected.

Get started
Wyndly Allergy

Beat your allergies forever.

Get Started With Wyndly

What Causes an Orange Allergy?

Orange allergies, like all food allergies, are caused by an overactive immune response to proteins found in the fruit. The body mistakenly identifies these proteins as harmful, triggering an allergic reaction.

Genetic Factors

Genetic predisposition plays a significant role in the development of an orange allergy. If one or both parents have any type of allergy, including food allergies, their children are more likely to develop allergies too. However, the child may not necessarily be allergic to the same things as their parents.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors also contribute to orange allergies. For example, the frequency and amount of exposure to oranges can influence the development of an allergy. Living in regions with high citrus fruit production, like Orange, CA, can increase exposure, potentially leading to an allergy. Additionally, having other types of allergies, such as oak allergies, can enhance the likelihood of developing an orange allergy due to a cross-reactivity phenomenon.

What Are the Symptoms of an Orange Allergy?

Symptoms of an orange allergy can range from mild to severe, affecting the skin, digestive system, and respiratory tract. It is important to note that reactions can occur immediately after consumption or up to several hours later.

Skin Reactions

Skin reactions are common symptoms of an orange allergy. These can include hives, itching, redness, and swelling of the skin. In some cases, individuals may experience a condition known as oral allergy syndrome, characterized by itching and swelling of the lips, mouth, and throat after eating oranges.

Digestive Issues

Digestive symptoms can also occur in those with an orange allergy. These may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. In more severe cases, individuals may experience a serious allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, which requires immediate medical attention.

Respiratory Problems

Respiratory symptoms are another common manifestation of an orange allergy. These can include sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing, similar to those experienced with outdoor allergies. In severe cases, individuals may experience anaphylaxis, which can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure, rapid pulse, loss of consciousness, and could be life-threatening if not treated immediately.

How Are Orange Allergies Diagnosed?

Orange allergies are diagnosed through a series of tests conducted by an allergist. These tests, which include a skin prick test, blood test, and oral food challenge, help determine the presence and severity of an orange allergy.

Skin Prick Test

A skin prick test, also known as a skin allergy test, is commonly used to diagnose food allergies. The allergist places a small amount of the allergen, in this case orange extract, on your skin and then pricks the skin so the allergen enters below the surface. If you're allergic, you'll likely develop a raised bump or hive at that spot.

Blood Test

Blood tests are another tool used to diagnose an orange allergy. They measure the amount of specific antibodies, known as Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies, in your blood. Higher levels of these antibodies are indicative of an allergy. However, a positive blood test doesn’t always mean you’ll have symptoms when exposed to the allergen.

Oral Food Challenge

An oral food challenge is considered the most accurate test for diagnosing food allergies, including orange allergies. During this test, you will be given small amounts of the suspected allergen to eat under medical supervision. The allergist then observes for any allergic reactions. If symptoms like those seen in seasonal allergies occur, the test is positive for an allergy.

What Foods Should Be Avoided If You Have an Orange Allergy?

If you have an orange allergy, you should avoid oranges and foods containing oranges. These include not only citrus fruits, but also processed foods and beverages that contain orange or orange-based ingredients.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits, such as grapefruits, lemons, limes, and other varieties of oranges, should be avoided as they may trigger a similar allergic reaction. This is due to the cross-reactivity among proteins found in these fruits, which can cause the immune system to react.

Processed Foods

Processed foods often contain hidden allergens. These include orange flavorings and orange peel used in products like jams, jellies, baked goods, desserts, and sauces. Always check food labels for potential orange ingredients to avoid accidental consumption.


Beverages such as orange juice, lemonade, and certain soft drinks and alcoholic beverages may contain orange or citrus components. Even some health supplements can contain orange-derived ingredients. Always read the labels carefully to avoid potential allergens.

Can Babies Have an Orange Allergy?

Yes, babies can develop an orange allergy. Just like adults, infants can have adverse reactions to oranges, exhibiting symptoms such as hives, diarrhea, vomiting, or even anaphylaxis in severe cases. It's essential to introduce new foods like oranges slowly and watch for any signs of an allergic reaction.

Babies with a family history of food allergies or other allergic conditions like asthma, eczema, or hay fever may have a higher risk of developing an orange allergy. However, an allergy can occur even without a family history.

If you suspect your baby has an orange allergy, it's important to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and guidance. They may refer you to an allergist for further testing. Remember, never try to diagnose a food allergy on your own, especially in infants.

In areas with high pollen count, some individuals may experience a condition called Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS), where certain fresh fruits or vegetables cause an allergic reaction because their proteins are similar to certain pollens. Reports from Eugene, OR, Oakland, CA, and Orlando, FL show an increase in pollen count during certain seasons, which could potentially trigger OAS. It's essential to be aware of this if you're introducing your baby to oranges during these peak pollen seasons.

How to Treat an Orange Allergy?

The treatment for an orange allergy typically involves a combination of avoidance, medication, and in some cases, sublingual immunotherapy. The right treatment plan is dependent upon the severity of the allergy, the patient's overall health, and the allergist's professional recommendation.


The most effective method to manage an orange allergy is complete avoidance of oranges and orange-containing products. This includes not only fresh oranges but also foods, beverages, and products that contain orange ingredients. It's essential to read labels carefully and inquire about ingredients when dining out.


Medication is an effective way to manage symptoms when accidental exposure occurs. Antihistamines can help ease mild symptoms like itching, hives, and nasal congestion. More severe reactions may require the use of adrenaline (epinephrine), typically administered via an auto-injector. Always consult with a healthcare professional regarding appropriate medication use.

Sublingual Immunotherapy

Sublingual immunotherapy is a treatment option where small doses of an allergen are placed under the tongue to help the body build a tolerance over time. This method can be particularly effective for individuals who cannot avoid allergens in their environment, such as those in high pollen areas like Oxnard, CA and Ontario, CA. However, an allergist should be consulted to determine if this treatment is suitable for your specific orange allergy.

When to See a Doctor for Orange Allergy?

If you suspect you have an orange allergy, it's important to see a doctor or allergist promptly. Recognizing and treating food allergies early helps prevent potentially serious reactions. Furthermore, professional guidance can help manage the allergy effectively.

If you experience mild symptoms such as hives, itchiness, or a runny nose after consuming oranges, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider. They can perform tests to confirm the allergy and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

In case of severe reactions like difficulty breathing, swelling of the throat, or fainting, seek immediate medical attention. These could be signs of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction. Remember, it's always better to be safe when dealing with potential allergies.

Live Allergy-Free with Wyndly

If you want long-term relief from your allergies, Wyndly can help. Our doctors will help you identify your allergy triggers and create a personalized treatment plan to get you the lifelong relief you deserve. Start by taking our quick online allergy assessment today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What allergens are in oranges?

Oranges can contain several allergens, including limonene and specific proteins like Cit s 1 and Cit s 3. These can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Symptoms can range from mild oral allergy syndrome (itchy mouth or throat) to severe anaphylactic reactions.

How can you overcome an orange allergy?

Overcoming an orange allergy primarily involves avoiding consumption of oranges and products containing orange. Antihistamines can help manage mild symptoms. For severe allergies, Epinephrine may be used. Allergy Immunotherapy is another potential treatment method, but should be discussed with your healthcare provider.

What should you avoid with an orange allergy?

With an orange allergy, you should avoid consuming oranges and orange-based products, such as orange juice, orange marmalade, and orange zest. Also, avoid products containing orange extracts or flavorings. Some products, like certain cosmetics and cleaning products, may also contain traces of orange.

What does an orange allergy feel like?

An orange allergy can cause symptoms like itching or swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat, hives, stomach pain, diarrhea, or nausea shortly after consumption. In severe cases, it can lead to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction that needs immediate medical attention. Always consult a doctor for advice.

What are the symptoms of being allergic to oranges?

Allergy symptoms from oranges can include itching, redness, and swelling of the mouth or throat, hives, stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, anaphylaxis can occur, with difficulty breathing, dizziness, and rapid heartbeat. Seek medical help immediately if you experience these severe symptoms.

Is orange an allergenic?

Yes, oranges can cause allergic reactions, though they are less common than other food allergies. Symptoms can range from mild, such as itching and rashes, to severe, like difficulty breathing and anaphylaxis. If you suspect an orange allergy, consult an allergist for testing.

What is the orange pill for allergies?

The "orange pill" for allergies commonly refers to Allegra (generic name: Fexofenadine), an over-the-counter antihistamine. It's used to relieve allergy symptoms such as runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, sneezing, and itching of the nose or throat. Always follow dosage instructions.

What is the little orange allergy pill?

The little orange allergy pill commonly refers to Allegra (generic name: fexofenadine), an over-the-counter antihistamine used to relieve hay fever and other allergy symptoms, such as runny nose, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, and itching of the nose or throat.

What is the citrus allergy pill?

The citrus allergy pill is not a specific product, but refers to antihistamines that can help manage citrus allergy symptoms. These may include brands like Benadryl, Claritin, or Zyrtec. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new medication for allergies.

Is Wyndly right for you?

Answer just a few questions and we'll help you find out.

Get Started Today