Facts about latex allergy

Facts about latex allergy

Two types of latex allergies exist — an immediate, systemic reaction to one or more of the natural rubber proteins, and a delayed reaction, typically limited to irritation and a rash at the area of contact, occurring 24 to 48 hours post-exposure, and related to the additives in the manufacturing process.
Latex allergies can range from mild to severe
and include skin redness, hives, headache, itchy eyes and tearing, scratchy throat, and respiratory distress.
If the exposure continues, it can lead to life-threatening anaphylaxis.
Exposure is not limited to medical products, such as gloves, blood-pressure cuffs, and catheters. Latex is found in many household products, including balloons; condoms; adhesive bandages and tape; pacifiers; baby bottle nipples; dishwashing gloves; Spandex; elastic; rubber bands; erasers; some carpeting; bicycle and racquet handgrips; swimming goggles; and shoe soles. Patients also may have a cross sensitivity to fruits and vegetables. Bananas, avacadoes, chestnuts, and kiwis have a high association, while apples, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, melons, and other produce are only a moderate concern.
People with a latex allergy should avoid all exposures, wear a medical-alert bracelet, and always carry medications prescribed by their physician, such as an Epi-pen, nonlatex gloves, and written documentation of the allergy from a doctor. They also should inform all medical and dental providers, hospitals, and family, friends, coworkers, and employers about the allergy.

But with greater exposure to the gloves’ natural proteins, people began developing latex allergies, which can result in life-threatening anaphylactic reactions. Hopkins reports 6% of the general population is allergic to latex.

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One Comment

  1. frankcook
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your cogent thoughts on latex allergies; this is an important and often overlooked issue, and I found your words provocative and insightful.

    The organization I work for, the Pacific Northwest Foundation, is devoted to researching alternative modes of healing for a variety of illnesses, including latex allergy. I wanted to share with you a video presentation of a case study we conducted some years ago about a woman with severe latex allergy who, through a variety of methods, was able to diminish her reactivity. The link to the presentation is http://pnf.org/html/anna_s_case.html.

    I’d like to thank you so much for your contribution to the subject of latex allergy, and hope you will find the case study above helpful in your continued exploration into the subject.


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