How dangerous is airborne exposure?

Posted on: Mon, 08/06/2007 - 12:02am
Adele's picture
Joined: 01/31/2005 - 09:00

Long story cut short....

I was in a restaurant that serves peanut sauces on pizza.
I go there once a week for a glass of wine with dear ol' dad. No problems before this.

Eyes started itching and watering, nose stuffed up, became hoarse.

I asked the bartender to see what was cooking in the kitchen. He said there were just a couple of pizzas in the oven. I'm not sure if peanut sauce was the culprit.

I left early. Most of the symptoms cleared within 15 minutes after leaving. Benadryl took care of the rest.

Question: how dangerous is an airborne exposure (if it was PN) such as this.

Does this constitute an 'exposure' - and does this cause the immune system to release histamines?

Posted on: Mon, 08/06/2007 - 1:03am
ajgauthier's picture
Joined: 04/13/2005 - 09:00

hi Adele,
Those are the sort of airborne reaction I have...and what worries the most is my throat getting hoarse. I believe you also have mentioned in the past that in airplanes you'll start coughing? I get wheezy and cough too --- when I start coughing is when it becomes scary for me.
Once I remove myself from the situation though, it clears.
From what I understand after conversations with my allergist and primary care doc --- it's either a histamine or leukotriene reaction...Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec --- thos help the histamine reaction and something like Singulair helps the leukotriene reaction.
If you were to have an anaphylactic reaction that is IgE mediated (multiple system reaction, the life threatening kind), then you'd need an epipen.
I've figured out that my airborne reactions are histamine and/or leukotriene...just like any other environmental allergy. However, I don't want to stick around to find out if I continue to be in the environment if then my body will get enough of the peanut in my lungs, taste buds, etc. to trigger an IgE mediated reaction.
Benadryl and fresh air help my airborne reactions likity-split.
In the event I couldn't remove myself from the peanutty smell/cooking odor/peanut filled airplane environment...I think Benadryl would halt the reaction and it wouldn't progress...but I'm not too sure and don't want to test it.
Heated peanut is the worst --- I can't set foot in Thai or Mongolian bbq places, Chinese places are sometimes bad too.

Posted on: Mon, 08/06/2007 - 1:07am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Adele my son's tongue swells up with airborne reactions. I consider that scary. He used his epi pen for the first one but since then he gets away from the environment and takes Benadryl.

Posted on: Mon, 08/06/2007 - 1:36am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Same for my son, heated airborne is worse. Like cooking PB cookies. Benedryl and leaving the area relieves the symptoms. The time it occurred on an airplane, we obviously could not leave, thank goodness benedryl relieved the symptoms.
Have a blessed day,

Posted on: Mon, 08/06/2007 - 1:56am
Jenna's picture
Joined: 07/09/2000 - 09:00

My son has experienced swelling and not being able to breathe from airborne exposures. Heated peanut butter was the worst but he has reacted to airborne peanut butter with swelling also. He reacts to airborne in resteraunts similar to what you explained, where if we can get him out of there he will do okay with Benadryl. He can usually tell just walking in the door and then we turn right around and get out and give Benadryl. Since he has progressed to a full anaphylactic reaction when we haven't gotten him away from the exposure quickly enough, we don't take any chances. (Unless we are out of town or otherwise unable, we now call all eating places ahead of time to see if there is a risk - we have had less reactions because of this.)

Posted on: Mon, 08/06/2007 - 2:20am
Adele's picture
Joined: 01/31/2005 - 09:00

Wow - all of your comments are interesting.
So the symptoms you or your kids experience for airborne PN are the similar or the same? Itchy eyes, hoarseness, stuffed up nose, even sneezing???
[This message has been edited by Adele (edited August 06, 2007).]

Posted on: Mon, 08/06/2007 - 2:31am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

This sounds quite similar to DD's initial 'warning signs.'
Frequently she'll also develop blotchiness and even hives on exposed skin, too.
Her eyes will redden and puff up-- even if she doesn't scratch at them.
If she stays for long, it progresses from there-- if we clear out [i]immediately[/i] though, sometimes she doesn't even need benadryl. Just fresh air. But even a few minutes exposure means she'll need meds. (Benadryl and sometimes albuterol.)
I don't know if such exposures typically cause PA to 'worsen' in severity or sensitivity. DD's seems to be relatively 'stable,' but that doesn't say much since she can evidently sniff out single undisturbed peanut butter sandwich in a football stadium... [img][/img]
But seriously, we [i]do not[/i] play around with this type of exposure. We used to view it as 'probably unavoidable' and a 'nuisance.' I never thought it would 'progress' either-- not until recently. Now I know differently.
Please be careful.

Posted on: Mon, 08/06/2007 - 3:34am
chanda4's picture
Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

my son has gotten GI symptoms from being in the lunchroom at school(mostly stomach cramping)...I consider that air borne and since they moved all the pb-eaters across to the other side, he was better the remainder of the school year. We were also at a basketball game last year, many, many rows away form the people eating and shellign peanuts, but I think there was stuff on and under the seats, because his eyes were watering and itching so bad he couldn't see, his nose was running and his face was very flushed(breathing and throat was fine through the whole ordeal). I gave Benadryl and washed his face, arms and hands off in the took about 20 min(and I was ready to use the Epipen the minute one more symptom showed) but I got it calmed down). I am not sure if it was airborne or touching the chairs etc...from previous peanut eaters.....but it scared me non-the-less.
He's never been around roasting peanuts, so not sure how he would react. But I bet he would.
As for it being an exposure, I sure it is, not sure what it would do to histamine levels though, I asked my allergist and he said there just wasn't enough studies done on inhalation. But if it's any consolation, Jake's numbers have come down the last 3 years(even with multiple exposures and reactions)....he's still high(21) but he's come down from a (51)...which I know that doesn't make it okay, but I am shocked all his reactions haven't made his numbers triple! HUGS
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 1/2(beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig, hamster & asthma)
Jake-6 1/2(peanut, all tree nuts, seasame seeds, (avoiding all seeds&coconut)eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-4 (milk, tree nuts(avoiding peanuts and seeds)soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig, hamster, grass, mold, dust mite and EE)
Savannah-1 1/2 (milk, beef and egg, dog(avoiding peanuts, tree nuts, strawberries, sesame seeds, green beans, peas and corn)

Posted on: Mon, 08/06/2007 - 3:24pm
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

My son reacted on the Santa Monica Pier and he assumes it is because someone is probably roasting peanuts there. He stays away even if it is a fun place to be.

Posted on: Mon, 08/06/2007 - 8:11pm
k9ruby's picture
Joined: 03/25/2004 - 09:00

I have had 3 questionable airbourne exposures, once i broke out in full body hives for seemingly no reason (hadn't eaten or touched anything), once my dad was eating a TN chocolate bar and breathed on me and face swelled up and once on a plane i started to feel 'spacy'.
I am ana to nuts.
I consider any exposure to be potentially dangerous.

Posted on: Mon, 08/06/2007 - 9:46pm
Going Nuts's picture
Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

My son has had airborne reactions to both peanut and chick peas (falafel cooking). His reactions have included full body hives, asthma, and voice becoming high pitched. I take these reactions seriously.
I have OAS to lots of fruits and veggies, but I can tell you that in August when the ragweed is in full bloom, just smelling cantaloupe makes my throat swell up. [img][/img]
I'd find another meeting place for you and your dad. [img][/img]

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