An allergy to eggs is caused by the immune system’s reaction to the protein in eggs. Two factors are necessary for a food allergy to occur – genetic predisposition and exposure to the food. If you or your child has been diagnosed with an egg allergy, the only treatment is to avoid eggs completely. This includes foods and other products containing eggs, as well as foods that may have come in contact with eggs.

Allergy to eggs is one of the few food allergies that can last a lifetime. Sometimes when the allergy is mild, the doctor may suggest giving the child a very small amount perhaps in cooked food which contains egg, such as a cookie. If this is tolerated, the amount can be slowly and gradually increased starting with a small quantity of hard-cooked egg yolk and later adding egg white. Be sure to check with your doctor before trying this. Fortunately, most children outgrow their allergy by age 5 – 7 but when it is severe, it can last a lifetime.

Symptoms to an egg allergy may begin within minutes but may also occur up to 2 to 4 hours after eating and usually last up to a day. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhoea, cramps, rashes, hives, itching, swelling, nasal congestion, wheezing, coughing, itchy eyes and wheezing.

CHECK FOOD LABELS CAREFULLY – Any word containing ‘ovi’ or ‘albumin’ most likely refers to a food which contains eggs!