Egg allergies most often affect young children. It is estimated that up to two percent of children are allergic to eggs. While that number may seem small, eggs are one of the most common food allergens affecting children. Children outgrow their egg allergies in the majority of cases, often before they reach school-age. However, in some cases egg allergies persist well into school-age and beyond. While most adults with egg allergies are able to handle accidental exposure to eggs without serious complications, accidental exposure in children may be more worrisome.
Symptoms of Egg Allergy
The symptoms of an egg allergy may occur within a few minutes or up to a few hours after the consumption of eggs. Symptoms are not the same for everyone. Mild symptoms of an egg allergy include things like itching and hives. More severe allergies may result in trouble breathing. In rare cases, the sufferer may experience anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency.
Managing an Egg Allergy Through Oral Immunotherapy
Allergic reactions can be a frightening experience. Thankfully, egg allergies — along with several other common food allergies — are often treatable through a process known as oral immunotherapy. Oral immunotherapy is a physician-guided process in which an allergic person is introduced to gradually increasing amounts of a food allergen until a tolerance is achieved.
The entire process of oral immunotherapy typically spans a few months. Once a tolerance to the target food is acquired, a maintenance dose of the food is determined for the patient to consume on a regular basis. This will help keep the allergic reaction from returning.
Oral immunotherapy makes accidental exposure to food allergens, such as eggs, a much less dangerous situation. It prevents extreme allergic reactions and can provide peace of mind to parents of allergic children who are old enough to spend time outside of the home.