There is no definitive treatment for a peanut allergy. Because every case different, reactions will be different episode to episode. Still, there are some precautions to take ahead of time and strategies for handling an allergy attack if one should happen.
Avoidance and Preparation
The best strategy for coping with a peanut allergy is avoidance. Take steps to eliminate exposure to peanuts, and be prepared in case that fails. Peanuts are everywhere – many times in places you can’t predict – so you must be prepared. Take the following steps to treat a peanut allergy reaction:
- For a minor reaction: Use an over-the-counter or prescribed antihistamine to help reduce the symptoms. These drugs can be taken after exposure when the symptoms first start to present. They may alleviate itching or hives but will not bring relief to a severe allergic response.
- For a severe reaction:, An emergency injection of ephinephrine is absolutely essential. Follow this up with a trip to the emergency room or call an EMT to the scene. For people with a known severe allergy to peanuts, carrying an EpiPen or Twinject should become second nature.
The Epinephrine Injector
Here are a few tips for becoming comfortable with your epinephrine auto-injector:
- Carry it with you at all times. Not only on your person but keep one at the office or in your car. Keep one anywhere you might need it, and make sure you have a backup in case the primary one is lost.
- Watch the expiration date. In order to work at its best, the injector must be fresh. If you have no choice but to use an older injector, don’t hesitate to use that in an emergency. It may not be as effective, but it could help.
- Know how to use it. Don’t leave your doctor’s office until all your questions have been answered and you have a clear mental image of how to use the EpiPen. Make sure the people who are around you the most also know how to use it. You may be compromised and have to rely on someone else to use the injector.