Natural latex originates from the sap of the rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis, discovered in Africa and Southeast Asia. Allergic reactions to products made with latex develop personallies who become allergic (or sensitized) to proteins consisted of in natural rubber latex.
Natural latex must not be puzzled with artificial rubber made from chemicals. Artificial rubber products, including “latex” house paints, are not made with natural latex and do not trigger allergic reactions in individuals who dislike products made with natural rubber latex.
What Products Include Natural Latex?
Latex is a typical element of numerous medical and dental products. These include non reusable gloves, dental dams, air passage and intravenous tubing, syringes, stethoscopes, catheters, dressings and bandages. Latex likewise is found in many customer products. These include prophylactics, bags, balloons, athletic shoes, tires, tools, underclothing leg and waistbands, rubber toys, baby bottles, nipples and pacifiers.
Latex allergic reaction is a response to particular proteins found in natural rubber latex, a product made from a milky fluid from rubber trees. If you have a latex allergic reaction, your body errors latex for a damaging substance.
Latex allergy may cause allergic reactions ranging from skin inflammation to anaphylaxis, a possibly life-threatening condition. Your doctor can figure out if you have a latex allergic reaction or if you’re at risk of developing a latex allergic reaction.
Understanding latex allergy and understanding common sources of latex can help you prevent allergic reactions.
Common Symptoms of Latex Allergy
If you’re allergic to latex, you’re likely to respond after touching with the latex in rubber gloves or by inhaling air-borne latex particles launched when somebody eliminates latex gloves. Latex allergic reaction symptoms vary from mild to severe, depending on your sensitivity and the degree of latex irritant direct exposure. Your reaction can get worse with repeated latex direct exposure.
Mild latex allergic reaction symptoms include:
- Skin redness
- Hives or rash
- More-severe symptoms.
- Runny nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Scratchy throat
- Trouble breathing
Anaphylactic Shock Symptoms
The most serious allergic reaction to latex is an anaphylactic response, which can be lethal. Anaphylactic reactions develop instantly after latex exposure in highly delicate individuals, however anaphylaxis hardly ever happens the first time you’re exposed.
Symptoms and signs of anaphylaxis include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Hives or swelling
- Queasiness and vomiting
- Drop in blood pressure
- Loss of awareness
- Quick or weak pulse.
When to see a doctor
Seek emergency situation treatment if you believe you’re having an anaphylactic reaction.
If you have less severe responses after exposure to latex, talk to your doctor. If possible, see your doctor when you’re responding, which will assist in diagnosis.
What Causes Latex Allergy
In a latex allergy, your body immune system identifies latex as a hazardous substance and sets off particular antibodies to eliminate the irritant. The next time you’re exposed to latex, the antibodies signal your immune system to release histamine and other chemicals into your blood stream, producing a range of symptoms and signs.
The more direct exposure you have to latex, the more highly your body immune system is most likely to respond (sensitization).
Latex allergy can happen in these ways:
- Direct contact. The most typical cause of latex allergic reaction includes touching latex-containing products, consisting of latex gloves, condoms and balloons.
- Inhalation. Latex products, especially gloves, dropped latex particles, which you can inhale when they end up being air-borne. The amount of airborne latex from gloves differs greatly depending upon the brand name of glove used.
See also: What are the DANGERS of Vaccination?
It’s possible to have other reactions to latex that aren’t allergies to the latex itself. They include:
- Allergic contact dermatitis. This reaction to the chemical ingredients used during manufacturing produces symptoms and signs– normally a skin rash just like that of poison ivy, including blisters– 24 to 48 hours after contact.
- Irritant contact dermatitis. Not an allergy, this type of dermatitis probably is an inflammation caused by using rubber gloves or exposure to the powder inside them. Symptoms and signs include dry, itchy, irritated areas, usually on the hands.
Not all latex products are made from natural sources. Products consisting of manufactured (artificial) latex, such as latex paint, are not likely to cause a reaction.
Risk Factors of Latex Allergy
Particular individuals are at higher risk of developing a latex allergic reaction:
- People with spina bifida. The risk of latex allergy is highest in people with spina bifida– a birth defect that impacts the development of the spinal column. Individuals with this condition often are exposed to latex products through early and frequent health care.
- Individuals who undergo multiple surgical treatments or medical procedures. Repeated direct exposure to latex gloves increases your risk of establishing latex allergy.
- Health care employees. If you operate in healthcare, you’re at increased risk of developing an allergic reaction.
- Rubber industry workers. Repeated direct exposure to latex may increase sensitivity.
- People with a personal or family history of allergies. You’re at increased risk of latex allergic reaction if you have other allergies– such as hay fever or a food allergic reaction– or they’re common in your family.
Connection Between Food Allergic Reaction and Latex Allergy
Latex allergic reaction also belongs to particular foods, such as avocados, bananas, chestnuts, kiwis and enthusiasm fruits. These foods contain some of the same allergens found in latex. If you’re allergic to latex, you have a greater opportunity of also being allergic to these foods.
Tests and Diagnosis of Latex Allergy
Your doctor will wish to know your history of responding to latex, in addition to other allergy symptoms and signs you’ve experienced. Your doctor may carry out a physical examination to determine or leave out other medical problems.
He or she might also advise one or both of the following tests:
- Skin test. In this test, small amounts of latex are put on the skin of your lower arm or back. Your skin is then punctured with a needle to enable a small quantity of the applied latex underneath your skin surface area. If you’re allergic to latex or another compound being tested, you develop a raised bump. Allergists or other medical professionals experienced in skin testing ought to perform this test.
- Blood test. Your blood sample is sent to a medical lab, where it can be checked for level of sensitivity to latex.
Treatments for Latex Allergy
Although medications are readily available to reduce the symptoms of latex allergy, there is no remedy. The only method to avoid an allergic reaction is to prevent products which contain latex.
Nevertheless, regardless of your best shots to avoid latex, you may enter into contact with it. If you’ve had a severe allergy to latex, you may need to carry injectable epinephrine with you at all times. If you go into anaphylactic shock, you may require:
- An emergency injection of adrenaline (epinephrine)
- A trip to the emergency room
For less severe reactions, your doctor may recommend antihistamines, which you can take after exposure to latex to control your response and help relieve discomfort.
Prevention of Latex Allergy
Many typical products include latex, but many have ideal options. Avoid an allergic reaction to latex by preventing these products:
- Dishwashing gloves
- Some types of carpets
- Clothes waistbands
- Rubber toys
- Hot water bottles
- Baby bottle nipples
- Some disposable diapers
- Elastic band
- Swim safety glasses
- Racket manages
- Motorcycle and bike handgrips
- Blood pressure cuffs
- Intravenous tubing
- Electrode pads
- Surgical masks
- Dental dams.
Many healthcare centers use nonlatex gloves. However, due to the fact that other medical products may consist of latex or rubber, make sure to inform doctors, nurses, dentists and other healthcare workers about your allergic reaction before any examinations or procedures. Using a medical alert bracelet can inform others of your latex allergic reaction.
Good luck! Have a nice weekend.