According to a fresh study, there is a very important link between asthma and peanut allergy, that could greatly affect the symptoms and treatment of patients. While both conditions are widely spread all throughout the US, there is a lot to be gained in terms of patients’ outcomes if they are studied together.
The study was conducted in Toledo, Ohio at the Pulmonary Medicine at Dayton Children’s Hospital and the leader of the project was Dr. Robert Cohn, the hospital’s medical director. What Dr. Cohn and his associates have done was to carry out a peanut allergy screening on a number of 1,517 pediatric patients who had been previously diagnosed with asthma.
Out of the 1,517 patients, 11% were aware that they were suffering from an allergy to peanuts. However, the total results clearly pointed out that up to 22% on these asthma patients were also suffering from peanut allergies.
As Dr. Cohn describes, there are significant similarities between an asthma attack and a severe allergic reaction to peanuts. The symptoms of both of these conditions include shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing.
Nevertheless, he does not believe that people suffering from peanut allergies could be frequently misdiagnosed as asthma patients. He does deem the opposite situation as being the cause of the results of his study though.
Dr. Cohn believes that peanut allergies are easily overlooked in asthma patients on a regular basis. This is very important to the patient’s outcome, since the medication used for the asthma could conflict with the allergy.
“Parents of children with asthma should understand that there may be asthma medicines that are not advised in children with peanut allergies.”, says Dr. Cohn.
Furthermore, he points out the danger that asthma patients who are unaware of an allergy to peanuts put themselves in. Since the allergy to peanuts is capable of causing an asthma attack, keeping far away from anything containing the allergen becomes a necessity to these patients.
There is an abundance of products that contain peanuts in their recipe, ranging from very many types of chocolate bars, to coffee-based beverages and a wide variety of desserts. It is crucial that patients with peanut allergies put in considerable effort so as to avoid these products, because the consequences could be severe, if medical assistance is not available in due time.
Moreover, these patients are advised to always consult the ingredient list of the food and beverages they consume, because even a small amount of peanuts is capable of triggering a serious allergy attack in some people.
Dr. Cohn’s study will be presented in detail at the American Thoracic Society 2015 International Conference, that is currently taking place in Denver. This study will constitute the foundation of future research on the interlinking of asthma and peanut allergies.
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