Peanut allergies can be a real scare for many families, but new research may be easing the worry of deadly reaction, for some.
Researchers in Pittsburgh are looking at the effects of a new peanut patch worn by those with peanut allergies, and are finding some positive results.
Jacob Halasowski tells his story to cbslocal.com:
“One of my older sisters had peanut butter ice cream and that side of my face, she was sitting right next to me, it started to swell up. I was very young and the doctor said, ‘Well, we’ll test you, but we’re pretty sure you have an allergy.’”
As part of the new study, he was eager to take part and find out what can be done to help.
How does it work? The study has participants wear a patch on their skin that continually exposes them to the peanut allergen for a year. Before starting, the participants are asked to eat as much as they can tolerate of a peanut butter pudding-the scary part for participants and researchers alike.
After a year, participants return and see if they can tolerate eating more of the pudding. The patch study has been going for three years now and results are looking good.
If everything goes as planned, the patch could be approved by the American Food and Drug Administration. It won’t allow individuals with severe allergies to eat a peanut butter sandwich, but it can add more protection if they are accidentally exposed to peanuts, giving allergy sufferers a higher chance of obtaining increased medical help in time.
Peanut allergies are the most prevalent form of food allergy in children, with around 8% of children suffering from a food allergy, and almost 40% of these experiencing severe reactions, when exposed to the allergen.