Eggs have been considered as the one of the common foods that can trigger allergies in children. The symptoms of egg allergy typically manifests in a few minutes up to a few hours after eating eggs or foods that contain eggs. The symptoms and signs tends to vary from mild to severe and can include hives, skin rashes, vomiting, nasal inflammation or digestive problems. In rare cases, the allergy can cause anaphylaxis which is a life threatening reaction.
This allergy can occur during the stage of infancy. In most cases, children can outgrow the allergy before reaching the adolescent stage. In some, it continues until adulthood.
Symptoms of egg allergy
The reactions to this allergy vary from one individual to another and typically manifests right after exposure to eggs or products that contain eggs.
- Hives or skin inflammation
- Nasal inflammation
- Signs and symptoms of asthma such as chest tightness and coughing
- Digestive symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and cramps
A severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis is considered as a life-threatening emergency that requires an epinephrine shot or going directly to an emergency room at the nearest hospital. The signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
- Rapid pulse
- Airway constriction
- Abdominal cramping and pain
- Shock with drastic drop in blood pressure
Causes of egg allergy
Allergies to food are caused by the overreaction of the immune system. The immune system erroneously identifies the egg proteins as unsafe. If eggs or foods that contain egg are eaten, the immune system cells will recognize them and trigger the release of histamine along with other chemicals that leads to the manifestation of allergy symptoms and signs.
Take note that both the egg whites and egg yolks contain proteins that cause allergies, but allergy to egg whites is more common.
How egg allergy is treated
There is no treatment or medication that can completely cure egg allergies or prevent it from occurring. The best way to prevent the symptoms is to avoid eating eggs or egg products. Understandably, this can be difficult since eggs are commonly used in different dishes. Nevertheless, most children can tolerate eggs that have been cooked into foods especially when used as an ingredient in baked products.
Ease the symptoms with antihistamines
Antihistamines can help minimize the signs and symptoms of a mild egg allergy. Take note that these medications can be taken after exposure to eggs. Just remember that they are not effective in preventing an allergic egg reaction or for severe reactions.
Emergency shot of epinephrine
If a child or adult is at risk for a severe reaction, an EpiPen should be carried at all times. In case the adult or child develops one after exposure to eggs, an emergency epinephrine shot should be administered and go straight to the emergency room at the nearest hospital. If the symptoms of anaphylaxis improve, medical supervision is required for a period of time to ensure that the symptoms will not return.