Eggs, from all kinds of birds, have been a nutritious food enjoyed by humans for centuries. For millions of Americans, eggs are part of a daily breakfast. However, eggs aren’t all “sunny side” for everybody. Many Americans suffer from egg allergy and indeed, it is the second most common food allergy in children. Egg allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe, even deadly. Here’s what you need to know about egg allergies and egg allergy symptoms.
What is an Egg Allergy?
Egg allergy develops when the body’s immune system overreacts to the proteins in egg yolks or whites. When these proteins are consumed, the body treats them as a foreign attack, sending out an immune response to defend against it. The allergenic proteins in an egg are found mostly in the egg white—however, those with egg allergy should avoid all eggs and egg-containing products entirely.
Egg allergy affects mainly children. Experts estimate that around 2% of children have an egg allergy. However, about 70% of them will outgrow it by age 16. That said, egg allergy symptoms are still a concern, even if it’s a possibility one might outgrow them.
Egg Allergy Symptoms
Egg allergy symptoms vary in severity—not only by individual, but by reaction. A bite of egg may have severe consequences for one person, but only a mild skin reaction for another. By that same token, just because you had mild reactions to eggs in the past doesn’t mean that you won’t have a severe and even life-threatening reaction in the future. Always exercise caution. Better safe than sorry!
The most common egg allergy symptoms involve skin inflammation or hives. Other symptoms include runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion, digestive system symptoms such as cramps and nausea, and respiratory issues such as chest tightness, shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing. The most severe allergic reaction can lead to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition. The signs of anaphylaxis are a swollen throat or tongue, constriction of airways, abdominal pain or cramping, a fast pulse, dizziness, shock, and lightheadedness. Anaphylaxis must be treated with an emergency epinephrine (EpiPen) shot.
Contact Sneeze Allergy
Book an appointment with a doctor if you or your child has any reaction, mild or otherwise, to eggs. With treatment and prevention, an egg allergy can be easily managed. Contact Sneeze Allergy to book an appointment!