Food Allergy: Egg Allergy Symptoms

One of the world’s favorite breakfast foods is the humble egg. It can be cooked in different ways–soft boiled, hard boiled, scrambled, and poached; it can serve as a side dish for sausages, bacon, and toast; or you can have it in an omelet with the filling of your choice. But what if you begin to exhibit egg allergy symptoms? Goodbye custards and egg pies.

Egg allergy is one of the many types of food allergies available to man. It is characterized by hypersensitivity to dietary substances, such as the whites or the yolks of the egg which may cause an overreaction in the person’s immune system. Egg allergy symptoms often occur in children but babies and adults are also affected. Sometimes, egg intolerance symptoms appear when a person comes in contact with egg whites in particular, because the whites of the eggs contain potent histamine liberators that can trigger a severe allergic reaction.

Egg allergy symptoms in babies and egg allergy symptoms in children may appear when they are still very young but most of them outgrow them as they grow older. For the very few, egg allergy symptoms in adults will still be there if they are exposed to eggs.

For people who have egg allergies, their immune systems have antibodies that react to the proteins found in the egg white or the egg yolk. Some people have only egg white allergy; some people have only egg yolk allergy. Egg yolk allergies are more common in adults. Being allergic to eggs can trigger other food allergy symptoms, like when a person eats poultry meat.

Egg allergy symptoms can vary from person to person. Almost allergic reactions occur soon after exposure to egg. Some of these egg allergy symptoms are:

  • Rash or hives – the most common allergic reaction
  • Allergic rhinitis – inflammation of the nasal passages
  • Allergic conjunctivitis – characterized by itchy, red, and/or watery eyes
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Angiodema – characterized by swelling of the face, lips, and tongue
  • Anaphylaxis – the most severe allergic reaction characterized by constricted airways, difficulty in breathing, rapid pulse, dizziness or lightheadedness, and loss of consciousness

Treating egg allergy symptoms can be easy. For mild cases of allergic reactions, you can take antihistamines (oral or topical). For severe allergic reactions, these are treated with epinephrine. Some people who are severely allergic to eggs may need to carry an EpiPen with them at all times.

To avoid egg allergy symptoms, read the labels of food products carefully. If it contains the words eggnog, lecithin, egg substitute, and yolk, the product may contain eggs. Avoid (raw) eggs as much as possible; some people can tolerate eggs if they cooked properly.

If you think you are exhibiting egg allergy symptoms, consult your doctor immediately.