What is Latex Allergy

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Many people suffer from latex allergies, but do not know the cause of their symptoms. People typically dismiss their symptoms and attribute them as being something other than a latex allergy. However it is important to understand what the symptoms are if you experience allergies relating to latex due to serious health implications that could occur.

Natural Rubber Latex (NRL) is the material of choice in thousands of consumer and medical products. NRL contains over 200 proteins, 13 of which are suspected allergens. These allergens, or antigenic proteins, can cause allergic reactions in latex sensitive people.

Products with Latex
There are roughly 40,000 products that contain latex and many of these are every day products that you may come into contact with. Some of these products include:
• Balloons
• Dishwashing gloves
• Condoms
• Rubber bands
• Adhesive tape and bandages
• Pacifiers and baby-bottle nipples
• Waistbands in clothing
• Rubber toys
• Some foods (chestnuts, kiwi, passion fruit)

Be aware of the products you come into contact with on a daily basis. Repeated exposure to products that contain latex, such as the ones listed above, can trigger symptoms if you do have latex allergies.

Latex Allergy Symptoms
Symptoms can vary from person to person, but typical symptoms you can experience if you suffer from latex allergies include:
• Sneezing or runny nose
• Itchy, red, and/or watery eyes
• Coughing
• Skin discoloration (rash or hives)
• Tightening of chest
• Shortness of breath

Healthcare workers who suffer from latex allergies are at a higher risk than most simply because of the amount of times they put on latex gloves. Some of these allergy sufferers can experience bumps, sores, cracks and redness on their hands. Less contact with medical gloves or using a glove liner can help reduce the likelihood of suffering from these symptoms.

Those that are highly sensitive to the antigenic proteins found in the makeup of latex can suffer far greater symptoms including:
• Dizziness
• Confusion
• Difficulty breathing
• Wheezing
• Nausea vomiting
• Rapid or weak pulse
• Loss of consciousness

Those that suffer from these reactions need immediate medical attention.

High Risk Allergy Sufferers
Simply put, the more contact you have with latex, the greater chance you have at triggering a reaction if you do have a latex allergy. Healthcare workers and those that work in the rubber industry are at the highest risk for latex allergy. Another segment of people that are at a high risk are those that have a food allergy or people that have had many operations (especially during childhood)

Actions to Take
If you think you suffer from latex allergies, be aware of the products you come into contact with on a daily basis. Those products that contain latex should be avoided. You should also consult your physician and ask to be tested for latex allergies. Waiting to be tested for latex allergies can lead to more and more allergic reactions. It is important that you see your doctor right away if you believe you have a latex allergy.

By: robby monk (http://www.articledashboard.com)

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  • Mikee Mercader
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