DEWITT, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — This week is Food Allergy Awareness Week and doctors want to shine a light on the growing health concern. According to the CDC, food allergies are becoming more common impacting an estimated 8 percent of children in the U.S.
Food allergies are on the rise, impacting 32 million Americans. The non-profit Food Allergy Research and Education” says one in every 13 children has a food allergy, that’s about two in every classroom.
“Most of the time the food allergies in children will develop during infancy or pre-school age group. But they can develop later on in life, and they can even develop in adults,” says Dr. Harcharan Singh, an allergist at Allergy, Asthma, Rheumatology Associates in DeWitt.
The eight most common food allergens in the U.S. are milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish. Dr. Singh says symptoms usually start within minutes to maybe up to two hours, with some rare exceptions.
“It usually shows up as skin breakouts, swelling of the lips or eyes, and then if it progresses you can get involvement of the tongue and the throat, the breathing system,” says Dr. Singh.
Other symptoms include coughing, wheezing, breathing problems, and repetitive vomiting.
The way to find out if your child does have a food allergy is by seeing an allergist. During their appointment, they’ll be evaluated, tested, and then discuss possible treatments. Dr. Singh says the major treatment is avoiding the food you’re allergic to.
Dr. Singh added, “Most of the time we would recommend self-injectable epinephrine to keep on hand.”
It all depends on how severe your allergies are. Dr. Singh also added people can outgrow food allergies. It’s more likely to happen with allergens like milk or egg.