Egg allergy develops when the body’s immune system becomes sensitized and overreacts to proteins in egg whites or yolks. When eggs are eaten, the body sees the protein as a foreign invader and sends out chemicals to defend against it. Those chemicals cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Signs and symptoms range from mild to severe and can include skin rashes, hives, nasal congestion, and vomiting or other digestive problems.
HOW IS EGG ALLERGY DIAGNOSED?
A skin prick test or a blood test will confirm the egg allergy with the presence of the above symptoms. A food elimination test or an oral food challenge may also be used to confirm the allergy.
HOW IS EGG ALLERGY TREATED?
The only way to prevent egg allergy symptoms is to avoid eggs or egg products. Medications such as antihistamines may reduce signs and symptoms of a mild egg allergy. The allergist may prescribe epinephrine (adrenaline) in an auto-injector, to be taken if there are symptoms of anaphylaxis a potentially fatal reaction that includes shortness of breath, swelling of the throat, and dizziness from a sudden drop in blood pressure.
DID YOU KNOW?
Foods that contain eggs can include:
• Baked goods
• Breaded foods
• Processed meat, meatloaf and meatballs
• Puddings and custards
• Salad dressing
• Many pastas
• Foam on alcoholic, specialty coffees