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tree nut airborn allergy? Is it possible?

6 replies [Last post]
By bhoffman on Fri, 08-11-06, 19:23

My son (4) is Peanut/TN allergic. He does have airborn reactions to peanuts. We have always kept him strictly away from all nuts (he is only allergic to hazelnuts and almonds) for fear of cross contamination. Also, let me note that his "worst" reaction was hives, one time, from summer sausage (not sure the connection). Usually a small rash on the back of his leg is his reaction or vomiting. I am aware that this could change at any time, and we ALWAYS carry an epi and fast melts.

My question is this, is it possible to have airborne reactions to tree nuts as well as peanuts? We are still figuring out our comfort zones and as he starts pre-school in a few weeks I am re-thinking everything...thanks so much in advance for responding!

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By Corvallis Mom on Fri, 08-11-06, 19:45

I suppose anything is possible.... but I've never heard of/known anyone with that kind of sensitivity to TN alone.

Now, I [i]have[/i] known people to have rxns when in the presence of TN which were being stir-fried, caramelized, or otherwise ROASTED/FRIED/HEATED.

But truly, I think this kind of TN sensitivity must be unbelievably rare. (Unlike shellfish or peanut allergies)

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By jtolpin on Fri, 08-11-06, 20:05

I'd think yes.

[b]* Obsessed * [/b]

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By ajgauthier on Fri, 08-11-06, 20:18

the smelliest tree nuts to me are cashews (I'm a class III on RAST) - but I've never had an ingestion reaction...only positive with RAST test.

I believe I got a rash (lilke flushed) on my neck and upper chest at a friends house when I was helping her take stuffed mushroomms out of the grill (they had a pine nut stuffing).

Recently, I was horrified by the smell of a small plane-ful of people having roasted cashews. Shame on me for not speaking up, but they are usually just sold and noone ever gets them...except apparently when the plane sits on the tarmac for over an hour waiting for take-off and the flight attendant feels she is doing a good deed!

I didn't have a "reaction" per say...but the smell was atrocious to me, I breathed through my pillowcase the whole time til we landed, and only my eyes felt really dry (but not itchy). My eyes frequently feel dry anyway when I fly, so I'm not really attributing it to the airborne cashew dust.

But man, are they smelly! I've been exposed to American Airlines small bags of mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts, and one cashew), and haven't had a problem at all with those. Almonds don't smell bad to me, or atleast I don't notice them as much.

So - no airborne reaction, but I didn't like the smell and tried to stay calm. I felt like if I let myself get freaked out I probably would have a reaction (albeit psychosomatic).

So, I was fine [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

To address your original question...I think it's entirely possible to have an airborne reaction to any food allergen. Just depends on the person's sensitivity and how well their immune system is behaving that day.


30-something survivor of severe peanut/tree nut allergy

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By Corvallis Mom on Fri, 08-11-06, 22:44

I've also heard of someone having a problem with cashews... [i]when they were being stir-fried[/i].... so again, just like in Adrienne's examples, the nuts in question were being heated, which increases volatility and puts a LOT more material into the air. (That will be true for any allergen.)

It's probably wise to avoid situations where TN are being HEATED. But otherwise, avoiding TN just being "around?" IMO, this is probably a little much if you haven't seen any evidence that it is necessary... This is like someone with a probable shellfish allergy wondering if it is okay to be near someone else eating shrimp cocktail.

"Possible?" Sure.

Likely? No, (not outside of the nuts being heated, anyway).

Please don't think I am saying that TNA is less serious than a PA, or that it isn't possible.. I [i]know[/i] that it is. 99% of EA kids don't have any trouble being around eggs, but I know an exception. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Life with PA/TNA is stressful enough without worrying about the things that really are unlikely. KWIM?

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By LisaM on Sat, 08-12-06, 02:54

I'm pretty sure my sisters are airborne sensitive to tree nuts . . . not positive, but pretty sure. Will have to ask them.

I've never separated tree nuts from peanuts in my mind in terms of severity of reaction . . . actually, I'm not sure whether my most severe reaction was from PA or TNA . . I ate caramel corn . . .think it might have been homemade. My parents threw out the caramel corn (which my father had received in a gift exchange) and didn't think to check to see what type of nut was in it! They just kind of assumed peanuts.

For what it is worth, on my last scratch test, some of the tree nut wheals were larger than the PN wheal . . .not that that means anything.

My youngest sister has a mild reaction if she is around *hot* fish . . but if someone is eating a cold tuna salad sandwich she is okay. Same with egg . . . hot egg dishes bother her but she can be around cold ones without any trouble. But everyone in my family has a screwed up immune system (thanks, mom and dad!) so I wouldn't say that this is typical.

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By lilpig99 on Sun, 08-13-06, 03:24

I would *think* its totally possible. I mean my DD is not PA, but is cashew allergic--highly cashew allergic--only known from ingestion though. We have not had any airborne reactions, but as I have even read here...the chance for airborne sensitivity increases with age. I hope it never happens, but just as though some PA folks are not airborne sensitive, some in fact are. These allergies are strange sometimes... I think it's possible...just my 2 cents [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img].

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