Peanut allergies are among the most common causes of anaphylaxis, with only trace amounts able to trigger an allergic reaction. By following the right food allergy treatment, severe reactions can usually be avoided. However, most allergy sufferers still rely on avoidance as their only protection against peanuts. With peanut allergy desensitization becoming more commonplace in Atlanta and across the country, many parents are looking more closely at this long-term treatment.
What Is Peanut Allergy Desensitization Treatment?
Peanut allergy desensitization is another term for oral immunotherapy treatment (OIT). The treatment is based on the process of building tolerance towards an allergen so that it no longer triggers a reaction.
When a person dealing with a peanut allergy eats peanuts, the immune system releases chemicals to protect itself. This reaction can also occur when one is exposed to small amounts of peanuts as a trace ingredient, or even by smelling aromas from the kitchen, for instance, when peanut oil is used when cooking. Perceiving the allergen as a threat, this physical response produces the common symptoms of a peanut allergy.
When a patient chooses peanut allergy desensitization, they will consume peanuts in tiny amounts under medical supervision. The dosage is very gradually increased over time. This approach helps desensitize the immune system so the patient no longer experiences a severe reaction.
Is Peanut Allergy Desensitization Effective?
Peanut allergy desensitization is a highly effective method of treating peanut allergies. At the Chacko Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center, we have many peanut allergy OIT success stories from children who faced the ongoing risk of anaphylaxis. Patients have progressed from the point where trace amounts of peanuts could cause a severe reaction to being able to eat a significant number of peanuts without experiencing any symptoms.
In addition to our own success stories, there are various studies into peanut allergy desensitization. A study published in the National Institutes of Health found that 71% of children in a trial were desensitized to peanuts after 30 weeks of OIT. This figure compared to just 2% who received a placebo. And while OIT is not considered a peanut allergy cure, it can allow many patients to resume eating peanuts without a high risk of allergic reaction.
How to Decide if Peanut Allergy Desensitization Is the Best Treatment
Determining if you or your child can benefit from oral immunotherapy treatment is a decision that should be made alongside your allergist. A specialist in immunotherapy like Dr. Chacko pays close attention to allergy symptoms, the risk of exposure to peanuts in daily life, the severity of allergic reactions and other factors. With this information, it’s possible to determine whether or not committing to the desensitization process is the best way to address your personal situation.
Contact Us for Peanut Allergy Desensitization in Atlanta
Dr. Chacko is a board certified allergist with expertise in adult and pediatric immunotherapy. If you are experiencing peanut allergy symptoms, visit a Chacko Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Duluth or Johns Creek. For assistance, call (678) 668-4688 or request an appointment now.