Peanut allergies in Atlanta adults and children

How Dangerous Are Peanut Allergies?

Peanut allergies are among the most severe of all allergies, posing a serious risk to children. While peanut allergy treatment options do exist, many parents don’t contact an allergist when an issue first arises. However, with the right treatment plan it is possible to eventually eat peanuts without risk. But just how concerned should Atlanta parents be about peanut allergies?

What Is the Impact of a Peanut Allergy?

Allergic reactions to peanuts lead to thousands of emergency room visits each year. An estimated 150 to 200 US citizens die from food allergies each year, with between 50% and 62% of these cases resulting from peanut allergies. While severe reactions are experienced by minimal numbers of people, even a minor response to peanuts can cause much discomfort.

Sadly, peanut allergies are becoming more common in children in Atlanta and across the country. Between 1997 and 2008, the number of children with peanut and tree nut allergies tripled. However, with the right approach to treating the allergy, the effects can be minimized. There is currently no cure for food allergies, but it is possible to reduce the danger of eating peanuts – and protect the health of adults and children.

What Are the Causes and Symptoms of a Peanut Allergy?

Allergic reactions to peanuts occur when you either eat the food directly, eat a cross-contaminated food, or inhale the substances found in peanut oil or flour. But what causes a peanut allergy to occur in the first place?

Just as with other food allergies, your immune system mistakenly believes the proteins in peanuts are a threat to your body. Antibodies are released to protect you from the perceived threat, with the subsequent release of chemicals causing the symptoms of an allergy.

The symptoms of a peanut allergy are as follows:

  • Itchy mouth and tongue
  • Skin hives or a rash
  • Runny nose
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue and face
  • Stomach pains and diarrhea

The above symptoms are aggravating, but they are not life-threatening. However, peanut allergies do come with the threat of anaphylaxis. This severe reaction is unfortunately dangerous and requires immediate treatment.

Symptoms of anaphylaxis include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Wheezing
  • Breathing issues
  • Swollen tongue and throat
  • Swallowing problems

How Do You Treat a Peanut Allergy?

Anaphylaxis should be treated with an epinephrine auto-injector as soon as severe symptoms are experienced. Speak to your allergist if you believe you or your child have suffered a reaction to eating peanuts. Also, it’s important to avoid contact with peanuts until you have been diagnosed by your allergist. A more long-term approach is oral immunotherapy treatment (OIT). OIT increases tolerance through consuming small amounts of the allergen until a target level has been reached.

Start Treating Your Peanut Allergy Today

If you have concerns about a peanut allergy, make an appointment at one of our Chacko Food Allergy Treatment Centers located in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Druid Hills, Duluth or Johns Creek. Call (678) 668-4688 or request help online.

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