Latex Allergy: Can it be totally avoided?

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Latex allergy has been an increasingly common problem among individuals. It is an allergic reaction to the proteins in natural rubber latex, and some people may be more susceptible to it than others. Like any allergy, the more a person is exposed, the more he is at risk of developing an allergic reaction to the substance. In a latex allergy, the immune system identifies latex as a harmful substance and triggers certain antibodies to fight the allergen. When people with latex allergy come into direct contact with it, the antibodies in the body signal the immune system to release histamine and other chemicals into the bloodstream, producing a range of signs and symptoms.

Common triggers of allergic reaction include:

  • Undergoing a medical or dental procedure performed by health care workers using latex gloves
  • Inflating a rubber balloon
  • "Hidden" latex on food from restaurants that use latex gloves
  • Exposure to clothing or other personal effects that contain latex
  • Wearing undergarments that contain latex in their elastic waistband, straps or leg openings.

    The severity of reaction may worsen depending on the frequency of exposure to the substance and the extremity of the skin’s natural intolerance to latex. Repeated exposures may lead to more serious reactions. Some of the symptoms are itching, redness and swelling of skin that come in contact with the latex-laden material.

    Since the exact causes of developing this type of sensitivity is not yet established, it is highly recommended to be cautious when handling materials containing latex. Early recognition of symptoms, reduced exposure to latex, and medical consultation are most vital in preventing detrimental health effects. Once a person is diagnosed with latex allergy, special precautions must be taken. Although there are medications available in the market to mitigate the symptoms, total latex avoidance, however difficult, is the most efficient method.

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    • Admin Cottonique
    Comments 6
    • AllergyEasy
      AllergyEasy

      I need to know about this because I’ve been using it all the time when doing some household chores. Reading the symptoms, thank goodness I am not feeling those things but this will serve as an awareness to me already to practice safety in using things that can cause allergy to me and to the people around the house.

    • Ryan Krygier
      Ryan Krygier

      I have Spina Bifida level L4/L5 and have a Shunt, (A VP (Plural) Shunt. I am age 40 and I "am not, and have never had a Latex Allergy. I do run a Face Book Page for Spina Bifida awareness. I is a closed page, please request to be admitted. The name of the page is: Everyone Being Aware of Spina Bifida.

    • Amy
      Amy

      Lauriejean, sorry to hear about your health crisis. At the very least, buy yourself a Vogmask to wear when going places. Seek out a qualified allergist. Please join the “No Latex” group on Facebook. You won’t regret it. There are people there who have so much experience in this. Try to stay positive. You’re not alone. I can’t go to most places anymore either.

    • Lauriejean
      Lauriejean

      I have a airborne latex allergy. I came in a room with latex balloons and ended up on a ventilator. I’m now home on O2. Going out in public is so hard because my doctor told ant day could be my last.
      Went to doctor appointment in a medical building and a guy wanted to ride the elevator with latex balloons. I yelled stay away from me your balloons will kill me!
      I’m so afraid of the world now!
      The allergy incident happened Feb 28, 2016
      Any help out there for me?

    • 1busymomx4
      1busymomx4

      I worked in a daycare and write Kate’s gloves ask day. I also had multiple exposures in orthodontics and 4 c -sections. I now suffer full anaphylaxis made wise by the anxiety attack that comes with an attack in public. Avoidance is my only hope. I do not go into malls or most restaurants. We don’t vacation often and I do not Christmas shop or grocery shop after Thanksgiving due to poinsettias. Danger!

    • Darlene
      Darlene

      Glad to see more information on social media

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