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How Long Does A Peanut Allergy Reaction Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 3 to 4 Hours

Although nuts are not considered anything but delicious, they may be the reason for a person’s allergy. Nuts and peanuts are some of the major elements that trigger an allergy in humans. Although these allergy reactions are generally mild, sometimes they may be severe and so, one should be aware of its consequences.

Allergy reactions caused due to consumption or coming in contact with nuts or peanuts are termed anaphylaxis. It occurs when the body’s immune system reacts vigorously on coming in contact with them. These allergic reactions differ from person to person and while it is mild to some, some may face life-threatening situations due to it.

How Long Does A Peanut Allergy Reaction Last?

Level of AllergyLasts For
Mild30 to 60 minutes
Moderate3 to 4 hours
SevereAbout a day or two

The allergy reaction produced in a person’s body can be broadly classified into three categories. These are mild, moderate, and severe allergy reactions. The effects in each of these categories are different and last for different periods.

The symptoms of mild allergic reactions can appear within a few minutes to a few hours of coming into contact with peanuts. However, they disappear sooner than that and are felt for only 30 to 60 minutes. In mild peanut allergy reactions, the mouth and lips itch, the face swells up, and there is a sense of discomfort around the area near the throat.

The symptoms of moderate peanut allergy reactions are comparatively more painful than those of mild allergy reactions. These involve tightening around the throat, frequent wheezing, and skin reactions like hives and redness. The peanut allergy reactions of moderate nature can continue for 3 to 4 hours after the first signs of allergy become visible.

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As would be inferred from its category, the severe symptoms of a peanut allergy reaction are life-threatening and may even lead to death. The effects include increased heart rate, compression of airways, lowered blood pressure, increase in breathing difficulties, and loss of consciousness. Severe allergy reactions last for about a day or two.

Why Does A Peanut Allergy Reaction Last For So Long?

When the peanut food enters the body, it risks the body’s immune system identifying it as dangerous. If the immune system does identify the peanut proteins as harmful, it would release certain hormones and enzymes into the bloodstream. These hormones or enzymes may lead to symptoms of allergic reactions.

For the immune system to release hormones, the body must come in contact with peanut elements. This contact can be direct or indirect. There can be three major modes in which the peanut proteins can come in contact with the body.

These are namely, direct consumption, inhalation, and cross-contact. While direct consumption of peanuts is an example of direct contact, inhalation and cross-contact are modes of indirect contact between the body’s immune system and the peanut.

Direct consumption of peanuts is the most common and direct form of getting allergic reactions due to peanuts. Consuming peanuts or food that has peanuts in it can give peanut allergy reactions. Moreover, if the person experiences direct skin contact with peanuts, it is also a cause of skin allergy reactions.

If a person is near peanut flour, chances are that they will end up inhaling some particles of it. Similar other items like peanut aerosol sprays and dust-containing peanuts produce the same effect.

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Cross contact is the unintended contact between a non-peanut food item and a peanut-containing food item. Such contacts also lead up to peanut allergy reactions.

Conclusion

The medical term for allergy reactions caused as a result of coming in contact with foods like nuts and peanuts is anaphylaxis. The mild symptoms of this allergy can end within an hour while the moderate allergy reactions can last for 1 to 2 hours. However, if the symptoms are severe, the allergy reactions may be felt for days and pose a significant danger to the life of the patient.

Allergy reactions caused to direct contact are considered the most severe as there may be a great amount of peanut in contact. However, contact through indirect means implies a lesser amount of peanuts and may last for less time.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0140673608606595
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0091674907013887

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