You may notice that your child has an allergic reaction when they eat eggs or things with eggs in them. Reactions can vary from mild to severe, including skin rashes, hives, nasal congestion, and vomiting or other digestive problems. Eggs are the most common allergy-causing foods for children and most egg allergy appears during early childhood. At our practice, most of the initial evaluations for egg allergy occur in young children. While an allergy to egg often resolves itself over time in children, there is a treatment program for those who have a persistent egg allergy.
Several years ago, Advanced Allergy & Asthma Care started an oral immunotherapy treatment program for those with peanut and tree nut allergy. The program has been very successful and we are now expanding of our food allergy treatment program to include those who are allergic to egg.
When To Consider Egg Allergy Treatment
Anyone who has egg allergy should be regularly monitored by an allergist. At our practice, once someone’s diagnosed with an egg allergy, we reevaluate them generally every six months during early childhood and once a year for older children. The older a child is with persistent egg allergy, the less likely they are going to eventually lose the egg sensitivity. Most children who develop egg allergic reactions during early childhood will outgrow their egg allergy before or during elementary school.
The decision to offer egg oral immunotherapy or not depends upon many factors, severity of symptoms, skin test or serum IGE test reactivity, tolerance or intolerance of small quantities of egg as part of baked or processed food, and age. The best candidates for egg oral immunotherapy are children with a history of more severe egg allergic reactions and those whose egg allergy does not resolve during their elementary school years.
What Is Egg Oral Immunotherapy Treatment?
The purpose of egg oral immunotherapy treatment is to decrease the likelihood that accidental ingestion of egg will trigger a worrisome allergic reaction, and hopefully to allow the introduction of foods containing eggs and eventually a whole egg into the diet.
The way the treatment program works is simple: the person gets small doses of egg in a closely monitored medical office situation, and gradually receives more egg over time. A pasteurized liquid egg white product is used as the source of the egg. The starting dose of egg is very low, below the threshold likely to trigger an allergic reaction. A small amount of egg is given to the person in the office, after which they are monitored for 90 minutes. If the egg dose is tolerated without triggering any allergy symptoms, then that same small dose of egg is taken daily at home for at least two weeks. At the next office visit, the dosage is stepped up and the person is monitored carefully again. The egg dose is never increased at home. This sequence is repeated over the course of months. It generally takes about 10 months to achieve the top dose of one egg.
If you or your child is having allergic reactions to eggs and you would like to discuss this treatment option, call us for an appointment at 203-748-7433 or request an appointment online below The allergy and asthma specialists at Advanced Specialty Care treat a variety of allergies including nasal and eye allergies, food and skin allergies as well as insect and medication allergies. We have offices in the Fairfield County, CT towns of Danbury, New Milford, Norwalk and Ridgefield.
- Jonathan Bell, M.D.