Chicken allergies are not common, but they do exist. It is possible to be allergic to many parts of the chicken, including the skin, excrement, feathers, or to the meat itself. Someone who is allergic to eggs has a separate allergy, and if you are allergic to both chickens and eggs, it is known as bird-egg syndrome.
Egg Allergies are More Common
Since chicken allergy and egg allergy are considered to be two different allergies, many people who are allergic to eggs can still eat chicken with no problem. Sometimes chicken is breaded with a mixture of egg and bread crumbs and then fried. A person with an egg allergy could have symptoms of a food allergy and think that they are allergic to chicken if they don’t realize that egg was used in preparing the chicken.
Symptoms of Chicken Allergy
An allergic reaction to chicken can occur within minutes, or it could take 24 to 48 hours for the symptoms to appear. Some people develop an itchy, runny nose and swelling of the eyes. The skin may itch as well, and a rash or hives could develop. It is also possible for eczema to develop after eating chicken or if you have been around the feathers or excrement from this animal.
Many different internal symptoms can also develop in someone with this food allergy. These include coughing, wheezing, sore or itchy throat, difficulty breathing, nausea, and sneezing. Ear infections, bladder infections, and other problems have also been related to chicken allergy.
Allergy Testing and Preventing an Allergic Reaction
Your allergist can test you to see if you have a true allergy to chicken. Many times, over-the-counter antihistamines, such as non-drowsy Benadryl, are adequate for treating the symptoms. In the case of a more severe reaction to eating chicken, other medications may be used, such as corticosteroids or adrenaline that help the allergy symptoms leave the body more quickly.
Like other food allergies, the best way to not have an allergic reaction to the food is to simply avoid it. Be careful not to eat any foods like casseroles, egg rolls, or soups until you check the list of ingredients to be sure that chicken is not added to them. Chicken is often ground and added to these foods and to others for flavoring. If you are allergic to feathers or other parts of the live chicken, it is easy for most people to stay away from them.