Egg Allergy

Egg Allergy Symptoms & Treatment

  • Skin symptoms: Hives, flare up of eczema, swelling of eyes, lips, or mouth (angioedema)
  • Respiratory symptoms: sneezing, runny nose, nasal blockage, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, or throat tightness
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps or bloody stools in infants
  • Cardiovascular symptoms: manifest by pale skin, faintness/dizziness, rapid heart rate, drop in blood pressure.
  • Life threatening anaphylaxis reaction Symptoms: loss of consciousness, cessation of breathing or a stopped heart.

An egg allergy is caused by the immune system overreacting to the egg.

An adverse reaction to a food, not caused by the immune system, is called food intolerance. Some patients develop stomach acidity or reflux after consuming certain foods like eggs. These are symptoms of food intolerance and not food allergy.

Egg allergy is managed by strict avoidance of eggs and keeping injectable epinephrine and antihistamine available on hand for accidental exposure.

Avoid all foods that contain egg, and please see a board certified allergist or immunologist as soon as possible.

Q: How prevalent is egg allergy?
Nearly 2% of young children are allergic to egg.

Q: Can babies outgrow egg allergy?
66% of egg allergic children become tolerant to eggs by 5 years old.

Q: How soon after ingestion, do the symptoms occur?
Symptoms usually appear 30 minutes to 2 hours after the ingestion of food.

Q: Is it ok to eat cookies or cake containing egg if you have an egg allergy?
Some patients with egg allergy can tolerate small amounts of egg proteins in cooked or baked form.

Q: Is nursing safe for infants with egg allergy?
Food allergens ingested by the mother can be secreted in the breast milk. Nursing is safe if the mother avoids eggs.

Q: When can egg be reintroduced?
Since children outgrow their egg allergy at different ages, this has to be assessed by the allergist based on the test results and the history of accidental ingestion.

Q: How is a vaccine containing eggs administered in egg allergic patients?
Influenza and yellow fever vaccines both contain egg proteins. Consulting an allergist before receiving either vaccine is highly recommended. A skin test that determines patient's response to the vaccine may be needed prior to administration.

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