Egg allergy reactions vary from person to person and usually occur soon after exposure to egg. Egg allergy symptoms can include:
- Skin inflammation or hives — the most common egg allergy reaction
- Allergic nasal inflammation (allergic rhinitis)
- Digestive (gastrointestinal) symptoms, such as cramps, nausea and vomiting
- Asthma signs and symptoms such as coughing, chest tightness or shortness of breath
A severe allergic reaction can lead to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening emergency that requires an immediate epinephrine (adrenaline) shot and a trip to the emergency room. Anaphylaxis signs and symptoms include:
- Constriction of airways, including a swollen throat or a lump in your throat that makes it difficult to breathe
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Rapid pulse
- Shock, with a severe drop in blood pressure felt as dizziness, lightheadedness or loss of consciousness
If you or your child has a reaction to eggs, discuss this with a doctor no matter how mild it may have been. The severity of egg allergy reactions can vary each time one occurs. This means that even if you or your child had a mild reaction in the past, the next reaction could be more serious.
If your doctor thinks you or your child may be at risk of a severe reaction, the doctor may prescribe an emergency epinephrine shot to be used if anaphylaxis occurs. The shot comes in a device that makes it easy to deliver, called an autoinjector.
When to see a doctor
See a doctor if you or your child has signs or symptoms of a food allergy shortly after eating eggs or a product that contains eggs. If possible, see the doctor when the allergic reaction is occurring. This may help in making a diagnosis.
If you or your child has signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, seek immediate emergency treatment and use an autoinjector if one has been prescribed.
Jan. 26, 2013
- Food allergy: An overview. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/links_policies/_layouts/niaid.internet.forms/publicationorders.aspx. Accessed July 14, 2011.
- Kurowski K, et al. Food allergies: Detection and management. American Family Physician. 2008;77:1678.
- Wang J, et al. Egg allergy: Clinical features and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 15, 2011.
- Anaphylaxis. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. http://www.aafa.org/print.cfm?id=9&sub=23&cont=324. Accessed July 14, 2011.
- Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of food allergy in the United States: Summary of the NIAID-sponsored expert panel report. National Institute of Allergy and Allergic Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/foodAllergy/clinical/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed July 15, 2011.
- Wang J, et al. Egg allergy: Management. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 15, 2011.
- Egg allergy. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. http://www.aafa.org/print.cfm?id=9&sub=20&cont=523. Accessed July 14, 2011.
- Flu vaccine and egg allergy. American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. http://www.acaai.org/public/advice/Fluvaccine_eggallergy.htm. Accessed July 14, 2011.
- FDA approves first seasonal influenza vaccine manufactured using cell culture technology. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm328982.htm. Accessed Nov. 20, 2012.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.