A tree nut allergy is one of the most common food allergies for both adults and children. Allergic reactions to tree nuts can range from mild (minor itching, watery eyes, and a scratchy throat) to life-threatening. You may be allergic to just one type of tree nut, or you could be allergic to several. Being allergic to one type actually increases your risk for being allergic to others.
If you’re allergic to tree nuts and are exposed to them, you may develop symptoms of an allergic reaction. In some cases, these symptoms will appear within minutes and be severe. In other cases, it may take 30 minutes to a few hours before the symptoms begin.
Symptoms of a tree nut allergy may include:
- abdominal pain, including cramping and upset stomach
- nausea and/or vomiting
- itching of the mouth, throat, skin, eyes, hands, or other body regions
- shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
- nasal congestion or runny nose
Anaphylaxis is rare, but it’s the most severe form of allergic response. In the case of anaphylaxis, a person with an allergy will begin experiencing symptoms within five to 30 minutes of exposure to the tree nut. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
- swollen throat
- passing out
- trouble swallowing
- a red rash with hives or welts
If you have any of these symptoms, seek medical help as soon as possible.