Sleepovers, play dates and school lunches aren’t traditionally scary, but for parents of children with peanut allergies, even the simplest events can be frightening. Peanut allergies are among the most pervasive food allergies and for some severely allergic children, even being near foods like peanut butter can be perilous.
Due to its prevalence among Americans, many schools, and even airlines, have taken measures to prevent unnecessary exposure by banning peanuts. But those measures aren’t instituted everywhere, and even the most diligent child can accidentally consume a peanut. The same goes for adults who’ve lived with a peanut allergy their whole lives, or who developed it later on. Being constantly vigilant, not only of what you consume, but what those around you consume, is exhausting.
While there’s no known cure for peanut allergies, there is a way to substantially reduce the risk of a serious allergic reaction, which is sure to be a relief to parents whose children suffer peanut allergies.
The board certified allergists at Allergy & Asthma Specialists are using the latest treatment for peanut allergies: sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). The treatment, used for many other allergies, works in the long term by reducing an individual’s reaction to a certain allergen. Treating peanut allergies with SLIT is a non-invasive way to deal with the allergy.
Once an allergist has determined the allergy exists, he or she would prescribe a custom dose of SLIT, a drop that contains peanut extracts. The drop formula makes it easy for even young patients to undergo treatment. Patients use the drops at home, with occasional in-office appointments, making it convenient for those with hectic schedules.
The process for SLIT is simple: the patient places the appropriate dosage under the tongue, waits two minutes, and then swallows. At in-office visits, the allergist will gradually adjust the dose of peanut extract so that the patient continues to build up tolerance. Allergists estimate that treatment can take six to eight months to build up tolerance to significantly decrease the risk of a serious reaction with accidental exposure to peanuts. so that a peanut allergy is no longer life threatening.
Research has shown that SLIT for peanut allergies is effective and has remarkably few side effects, resulting in less than one percent negative reactions. In a study of 4,182 patients, just 12 had a reaction, 11 of which were easily treated with oral antihistamines, making it a safe long-term solution.
And having a solution means that birthday parties and after-school study sessions are just that—not something to be feared, but rather just fun.
To schedule a visit with the board certified allergists/immunologists of A&AS at one of the eight convenient locations, call 1-800-86COUGH, extension 2, or schedule online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com.