Egg allergy is a type of food allergy, with statistics showing that 4 to 8% of children and 1 to 2% of the adult population are allergic to certain types of food. The main culprits behind these food allergies are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish. These eight foods account for 90% of all food allergies.
Most children with egg allergies display symptoms by the age of one, which is also the time they first come into contact with egg-containing foods. The accurate incidence rate of egg allergy is difficult to determine, but it is estimated to be between 0.5% and 2.5%. As children age, about two-thirds of those with egg allergies will gradually become tolerant to eggs.
While individuals with egg allergies are less likely to experience severe acute allergic reactions than those with peanut allergies, consuming food containing egg ingredients can still cause eczema-like rashes, skin redness, hives, and other symptoms.
Eggs consist of eggshells, egg whites, and egg yolks, and the protein in egg whites is the main cause of allergic reactions. Scientists have identified five egg white proteins that are associated with allergic reactions, which can bind to immunoglobulin E antibodies in human serum and trigger allergic reactions. These proteins are ovalbumin, ovomucin, ovotransferrin, lysozyme, and ovomucoid.
The safest option for children with egg allergies is to avoid eating eggs and other foods that contain egg ingredients. Egg-containing foods are abundant, and even seemingly unrelated foods may contain egg ingredients, so parents should carefully read food labels and allergy warnings when selecting foods. Some examples of foods that contain egg ingredients include, mayonnaise, ice cream, meatballs, fish cakes, nougat, pasta, and more.
The majority of children with egg allergies can gradually outgrow their allergy symptoms as they age. A study of 881 egg allergy patients found that by the age of 10, 37-66% of those who had egg allergy symptoms during infancy could already tolerate eggs. By the age of 14, this percentage had increased to 61-86%, and by 18, it had increased to 80-95%.
It’s important to seek professional medical advice and testing for egg allergies and any other allergies. Radtech Singapore offers allergen testing projects starting at S$66 to help individuals identify potential allergies and receive appropriate treatment. Click here to find out more.