Many people are prone to develop hazelnut allergy. This article gives you an insight into the symptoms of the allergy, and the treatment options to manage the symptoms.
Hazelnut allergy is known to be one of the most common types of food allergies that affect millions of people across the world. In general, the condition is known as tree nut allergy, and the same condition could be caused by other tree nuts like cashews, almonds, and chestnuts to name a few. The severity of the allergy varies from person to person, and as obvious it is, exposure to the allergen makes the person more sensitive. Allergy to hazelnut or other tree nuts, once contracted, is believed to stay forever. Reports say that a mere 9% of children outgrow this kind of allergy. The symptoms and treatment of the condition have been briefly discussed as follows.
Important Indicants of Allergy Caused by Hazelnut
There could be a good number of symptoms that may get triggered in people allergic to hazelnut. However, it is not necessary for anyone to exhibit all the symptoms. Commonly observed signs include itching, hives, swelling, burning sensation in the mouth, ear canal and throat area. These symptoms are more common in people with hay fever. Other symptoms which may get triggered by ingesting hazelnuts or their products are swelling of lips and tongue, feeling of tightness in the chest, and swollen uvula.
The allergen in the nuts could also upset the gastrointestinal tract which could be manifested by diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or abdominal cramps. If the respiratory system gets affected by the allergens, then it may cause stuffy nose, watery eyes, frequent sneezing, or itchy eyes. People suffering from a preexisting disorder such as asthma, may experience severe breathing difficulties.
Lightheadedness, or loss of consciousness could also fit in the list of symptoms triggered by hazelnut allergy. One potentially life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis could also occur in some people. This reaction may take only seconds or minutes to occur. During an anaphylactic attack, the chemicals released by the immune system can cause the blood pressure to drop suddenly, and the airways to narrow thus, blocking normal breathing. This causes the affected person to go into an anaphylactic shock.
The main aim of the treatment of hazelnut allergy is to keep the affected person from going into an anaphylactic shock. Using EpiPen as soon as the symptoms begin to emerge, may prevent the onset of the life-threatening anaphylaxis. This is more important in people with severe nut allergy, and those with asthma. However, EpiPen is only meant to slow down the progress of the reaction, and is not a cure. Therefore, the patient needs to be taken to the hospital at the earliest, as a second reaction may occur up to 4 hours or longer post the first one. It is advisable for people who are prone to develop nut allergy to keep EpiPen in handy. Also, using over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines could be helpful in treating mild allergy symptoms.
The real treatment is to avoid eating hazelnuts and other tree nuts completely. However, simply avoiding the nuts won’t help; products that might contain them as ingredients have to be avoided too. Experts always recommend people to read food labels. In the United States, it is mandatory for manufacturers to specify if their packaged food product contains tree nuts, and if they do, then they must also specify the tree nut type.
Some common food items which are known to trigger tree nut allergy include cookies, cereals, ice cream, candies, African, Thai and Indian dishes, and certain sauces. Also, some food items may not use nuts as ingredients but it is possible that they were made or served at a place which also processes nut. So even such warning labels must be paid heed to.