According to statistics, approximately five percent of children under the age of five suffer from a food allergy. The incidence of food allergies in children has grown in the last few decades, but some food allergies are later outgrown in adulthood depending on the type. Dr. Alan Sheen, an allergy doctor in Metairie and Covington, LA, offers testing and treatment for food-related and environmental allergies.
Food Allergy Diagnosis and Treatment
Food allergies can be hard to predict in advance, so doctors recommend that parents become familiar with the symptoms of an allergic reaction, which can kick in within minutes to an hour after a child has ingested the allergen. The most common signs of an allergic reaction include:
- Congestion and/or a runny nose
- Swelling (tongue, lips, face)
- Vomiting and nausea
- Shortness of breath and trouble breathing
Some allergic reactions can be life-threatening and require emergency treatment. Seek emergency medical attention right away if your child turns blue, has trouble breathing or swallowing, complains of chest pains, experiences dizziness, or loses consciousness.
Types of Food Allergies
In addition to peanut and tree nut allergies, other common food allergies to look out for include:
- Milk and eggs
Childhood allergies to foods like shellfish, soy, wheat, and dairy often clear up in adulthood, while nut allergies are more likely to persist into adulthood. If you suspect that your child has a food allergy, Dr. Sheen will perform a series of tests to help determine the source of the allergy and the best course of treatment.
Food allergies are typically treated by avoiding the food the child is allergic to, but accidents happen and sometimes it can be difficult to know every ingredient in the food we eat. Mild allergic reactions can usually be managed with antihistamines, and more severe reactions are usually treated with a dose of epinephrine, the active ingredient in the EpiPen.
Find an Allergy Doctor in Metairie and Covington, LA
For more information about managing and treating your child's allergy to food or other triggers, contact our office today by calling 504-456-1999 for an appointment at our Metairie location, or 985-246-6077 for our Covington office.