Cindy Leake feels a lot better now if her two sons accidentally eat foods with peanuts or peanut butter.
Her sons, Preston, 8, and Ryan, 6, have been treated with sublingual immunotherapy, or allergy drops, at Allergy Associates of La Crosse for three years.
The boys' reaction to peanut allergies has been less since they have been making trips every six months from their home in Geneva, Ill., to Onalaska for treatment.
"I don't worry as much because I know my boys are not going to die from an accidental ingestion," Leake said.
Last year Ryan ate a pretzel filled with peanut butter and spit it out of his mouth. "He threw up and was fine," Leake said.
Two of her three sons have food allergies. Preston is allergic to peanuts, milk, egg, bananas and shellfish. Ryan's food allergy is peanuts, but he has other allergies and mild asthma.
Preston was diagnosed when he was 9 months old and has seen several allergists. He has reacted with hives all over his face and breathing trouble when he has been exposed to peanut butter.
"With his drops, Preston can now eat eggs and milk, pizza and macaroni and cheese, too," Leake said. "It's been life changing.
"Both boys now don't have to eat at a separate table at school and don't have to live in fear of a severe peanut reaction," she said.
Ryan has the more severe peanut allergy, and his peanut sensitivity has gone from a very high level to a very low level with allergy drops, Leake said. He had reacted to a peanut exposure with swollen lips and choking.
"We were always scared to death of our boys' putting anything in their mouths," Leake said. "It's a huge relief knowing that even if my sons are allergic to peanuts, it doesn't have to be life threatening."