What latex allergy

Allergies occur when the body’s immune system reacts to a specific substance as though it’s harmful.

It’s not clear why this happens, but most people affected own a family history of allergies or own closely related conditions, such as asthma or eczema.

The number of people with allergies is increasing every year.

The reasons for this are not understood, but 1 of the main theories is it’s the result of living in a cleaner, germ-free environment, which reduces the number of germs our immune system has to deal with.

It’s thought this may cause it to overreact when it comes into contact with harmless substances.


Is it an allergy, sensitivity or intolerance?

What are latex allergy symptoms?

In most cases, latex allergy develops after numerous previous exposures to latex.

Latex allergy symptoms may include hives, itching, stuffy or runny nose. It can cause asthma symptoms of wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing. Symptoms start within minutes after exposure to latex containing products. The most severe latex allergy can result in anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction involving severe breathing difficulty and/or drop in blood pressure (shock).

Allergic skin problems can happen following direct contact with allergic latex proteins in latex glove products. Symptoms may include immediate itching, redness and swelling of skin that touched the item containing latex. These and other latex allergic reactions are less common now.

Numerous hospitals or doctors’ offices own switched to non-latex gloves or low protein latex gloves.

A second type of skin allergy called “allergic contact dermatitis” may be caused by chemicals used to manufacture rubber gloves. This dermatitis is recognized by the eczema and blisters on the back of the hands. It resembles a poison ivy rash, and begins 1 to 3 days after wearing rubber gloves.

Direct physical contact with latex products is not needed to trigger an allergic reaction.

Anaphylaxis and severe asthmatic reactions own been caused by inhaling latex proteins in the air resulting from the powder in the latex glove.

Allergy

A reaction produced by the body’s immune system when exposed to a normally harmless substance.

Sensitivity

The exaggeration of the normal effects of a substance. For example, the caffeine in a cup of coffee may cause extreme symptoms, such as palpitations and trembling.

Intolerance

Where a substance causes unpleasant symptoms, such as diarrhoea, but does not involve the immune system.

People with an intolerance to certain foods can typically eat a little quantity without having any problems.

Sheet final reviewed: 22 November
Next review due: 22 November

What triggers the allergic reaction to latex?

When people with latex allergy come into direct contact with latex, an allergic reaction may follow. Common examples include:

  1. A medical or dental procedure conducted by health care workers wearing natural rubber latex gloves
  2. Blowing up a rubber balloon

What foods are potential problems for people with latex allergy?

If you own latex allergy you also can own food allergies.

The foods most likely to cause this problem include: apple, avocado, banana, carrot, celery, chestnut, kiwi, melons, papaya, raw potato and tomato.

Latex, the sap of the Hevea brasiliensis tree, has been used in the manufacture of medical equipment since when the first surgical rubber gloves were manufactured. The possibility of severe latex (natural rubber) allergy in individuals with spina bifida was first raised in Since that time research studies own shown that between 18 and 73% of children and adolescents with spina bifida are sensitive to latex as measured by history or blood test.

The type of allergic reaction experienced can range from watery and itchy eyes and/or sneezing and coughing, to hives (a blotchy, raised, itchy, rash) to swelling of the trachea (windpipe) and even to life-threatening changes in blood pressure and circulation (anaphylactic shock).

Although the cause of rubber allergy in individuals with spina bifida is not known, it is theorized that sensitization may happen from the early, intense, and constant exposure to rubber products through multiple surgeries, diagnostic tests and examinations, also from bladder and bowel programs.

Exposure to latex can happen when products containing rubber come in contact with a persons skin or mucous membranes such as the mouth, eyes, genitals, bladder or rectum.

Serious reactions can also happen when latex enters the bloodstream. Some cases of severe reaction following injection of medication through latex stoppers, IV ports or syringes own been reported. In addition, the powder from balloons or gloves can absorb particles and become airborne causing reactions when breathed by a latex sensitive person. Food that has been handled by latex gloves may also cause a reaction, and people who own allergic reactions to latex may also be allergic to certain foods, including bananas, chestnuts, avocados and kiwi fruit.

Although a lot has been learned about rubber allergy in the final few years, the problem is really just beginning to be studied and understood.

Interestingly, health care workers such as nurses, doctors, and dentists, individuals born with severe bladder abnormalities, and some people who own had multiple surgical procedures are also at increased risk for rubber allergy although their risk is much lower than it is for individuals with spina bifida.

The Food and Drug istration and the Centers for Disease Control are investigating the problem of rubber allergy and current efforts are aimed at finding the component(s) of latex responsible for causing this allergy, developing methods of producing safe, non allergy causing rubber, and labeling products indicating natural rubber (latex) content.

Since the tale of rubber allergy is just beginning, and, without a doubt new understanding will emerge over the next several years, recommendations made now may need to be revised.

Because of the life-threatening nature of this allergy a list of current recommendations is included. Individuals with spina bifida and their families are urged to consider the following recommendations and to discuss them with members of their health care team.

All individuals with spina bifida should be considered at high risk for having an allergic reaction to rubber and should avoid contact with rubber products, particularly during medical or surgical procedures.

What latex allergy

Only non-latex gloves and catheters should be used. Alternative products, generally made of silicone, plastic or vinyl, can be safely substituted.
Individuals who own experienced allergic reactions during surgical or medical procedures should consider wearing a medic-alert bracelet or necklace, carrying auto-injectable epinephrine and sterile non-latex gloves for emergency use, and discussing latex allergy with every health care and community providers including school, day care and camp.

In addition, consultation with an allergist familiar with the problem is recommended to fully assess the risks and the possible need for preoperative treatment with special medications to suppress the potential for severe allergic reaction. Avoidance of every latex-containing items, especially in the operating room, is strongly recommended.
The following commonly encountered items may contain latex and pose a risk to the latex sensitive individual: Healthcare items which may contain latex: gloves, catheters, tourniquets, elastic bandages, ace wraps, I.V. tubing injection ports, medication vials, adhesive tape, bandaids.

Home/community items which may contain latex: balloons, pacifiers, dental dams, rubber bands, elastic in clothing, beach toys, Koosh balls, baby bottle nipples, condoms, diaphragms, diapers, art supplies.

Please note that this is only a partial list and it is strongly recommended that individuals with spina bifida and their families enquire about the composition of products used in their care.

A more finish list is available upon request from the Spina Bifida Association of America.

Catherine Shaer, M.D.,
Director Spina Bifida Program
Childrens National Medical Middle, Washington, DC

Elli Meeropol, R.N., M.S.
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Shriners Hospital
Springfield, MA

This information was provided by the Spina Bifida Association of America. You can access their web site for more information by clicking the link below.

Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history.

Persons with Spina Bifida are urged to discuss their specific symptoms and situations with their personal physician.


Notice: The information provided here is for informational, educational and entertainment purposes only.

What latex allergy

It is not intended to replace, and should not be interpreted or relied upon as, medical or professional advice. Your use of this site means that you consent to the terms and conditions detailed in our disclaimer.

What is a Food Allergy? There Are Diverse Types of Allergic Reactions to Foods


Symptoms of an allergic reaction

Allergic reactions generally happen quickly within a few minutes of exposure to an allergen.

They can cause:

  1. a red, itchy rash
  2. a runny or blocked nose
  3. red, itchy, watery eyes
  4. sneezing
  5. wheezing and coughing
  6. worsening of asthma or eczema symptoms

Most allergic reactions are mild, but occasionally a severe reaction called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock can happen.

This is a medical emergency and needs urgent treatment.


How to manage an allergy

In many cases, the most effective way of managing an allergy is to avoid the allergen that causes the reaction whenever possible.

For example, if you own a food allergy, you should check a food’s ingredients list for allergens before eating it.

There are also several medicines available to help control symptoms of allergic reactions, including:

  1. lotions and creams, such as moisturising creams (emollients) – these can reduce skin redness and itchiness
  2. antihistamines – these can be taken when you notice the symptoms of a reaction, or before being exposed to an allergen, to stop a reaction occurring
  3. decongestants – tablets, capsules, nasal sprays or liquids that can be used as a short-term treatment for a blocked nose
  4. steroid medicines – sprays, drops, creams, inhalers and tablets that can assist reduce redness and swelling caused by an allergic reaction

For some people with extremely severe allergies, a treatment called immunotherapy may be recommended.

This involves being exposed to the allergen in a controlled way over a number of years so your body gets used to it and does not react to it so severely.


Getting assist for allergies

See a GP if you ponder you or your kid might own had an allergic reaction to something.

The symptoms of an allergic reaction can also be caused by other conditions.

A GP can assist determine whether it’s likely you own an allergy.

If they ponder you might own a mild allergy, they can offer advice and treatment to assist manage the condition.

If your allergy is particularly severe or it’s not clear what you’re allergic to, they may refer you to an allergy specialist for testing and advice about treatment.

Find out more about allergy testing


If your kid has symptoms after eating certain foods, he or she may own a food allergy.

A food allergy occurs when the body’s immune system sees a certain food as harmful and reacts by causing symptoms.

This is an allergic reaction. Foods that cause allergic reactions are allergens.

IgE Mediated Food Allergies

The IgE mediated food allergies most common in infants and children are eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy and wheat. The allergic reaction can involve the skin, mouth, eyes, lungs, heart, gut and brain. Some of the symptoms can include:

  1. Feeling love something terrible is about to happen
  2. Swelling of the lips, tongue or throat
  3. Shortness of breath, trouble breathing, wheezing
  4. Stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea
  5. Skin rash, itching, hives
  6. Immunoglobulin E (IgE) mediated.

    Symptoms result from the body’s immune system making antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These IgE antibodies react with a certain food.

  7. Non-IgE mediated. Other parts of the body’s immune system react to a certain food. This reaction causes symptoms, but does not involve an IgE antibody. Someone can own both IgE mediated and non-IgE mediated food allergies.

Sometimes allergy symptoms are mild. Other times they can be severe. Take every allergic symptoms seriously. Mild and severe symptoms can lead to a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis (anna-fih-LACK-sis).

This reaction generally involves more than one part of the body and can get worse quick. Anaphylaxis must be treated correct away to provide the best chance for improvement and prevent serious, potentially life-threatening complications.

Treat anaphylaxis with epinephrine. This medicine is safe and comes in an easy-to-use device called an auto-injector. You can’t rely on antihistamines to treat anaphylaxis. The symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction happen shortly after contact with an allergen.

In some individuals, there may be a delay of two to three hours before symptoms first appear.

Cross-Reactivity and Oral Allergy Syndrome

Having an IgE mediated allergy to one food can mean your kid is allergic to similar foods. For example, if your kid is allergic to shrimp, he or she may be allergic to other types of shellfish, such as crab or crayfish. Or if your kid is allergic to cow’s milk, he or she may also be allergic to goat’s and sheep’s milk. The reaction between diverse foods is called cross-reactivity. This happens when proteins in one food are similar to the proteins in another food.

Cross-reactivity also can happen between latex and certain foods.

For example, a kid who has an allergy to latex may also own an allergy to bananas, avocados, kiwis or chestnuts.

Some people who own allergies to pollens, such as ragweed and grasses, may also be allergic to some foods. Proteins in the pollens are love the proteins in some fruits and vegetables. So, if your kid is allergic to ragweed, he or she may own an allergic reaction to melons and bananas. That’s because the protein in ragweed looks love the proteins in melons and bananas.

This condition is oral allergy syndrome.

Symptoms of an oral allergy syndrome include an itchy mouth, throat or tongue. Symptoms can be more severe and may include hives, shortness of breath and vomiting. Reactions generally happen only when someone eats raw food. In rare cases, reactions can be life-threatening and need epinephrine.

Two Categories of Food Allergies

  • Hives, or itchy welts that may appear on any part of the body.
  • The sooner the medication is injected, the better your chances of stopping the anaphylactic reaction.
  • Hay fever-like symptoms, including nasal stuffiness, sneezing, a runny nose, and itching of the nose, eyes, or roof of the mouth.
  • Non-IgE mediated. Other parts of the body’s immune system react to a certain food.

    This reaction causes symptoms, but does not involve an IgE antibody. Someone can own both IgE mediated and non-IgE mediated food allergies.

  • Immunoglobulin E (IgE) mediated. Symptoms result from the body’s immune system making antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These IgE antibodies react with a certain food.
  • Wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.
  • It is better to be safe than sorry. Taking epinephrine when it is not needed will probably not cause serious problems.
  • Anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction which includes blocked airways, swelling of the throat, and a drop in blood pressure.
  • Epinephrine provides only temporary relief.

    Immediately after injecting the medicine, have someone take you to the nearesthospital emergency department.

Non-IgE Mediated Food Allergies

Most symptoms of non-IgE mediated food allergies involve the digestive tract. Symptoms may be vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms can take longer to develop and may final longer than IgE mediated allergy symptoms. Sometimes, a reaction to a food allergen occurs up 3 days after eating the food allergen.

When an allergic reaction occurs with this type of allergy, epinephrine is generally not needed.

In general, the best way to treat these allergies is to stay away from the food that causes the reaction. Under are examples of conditions related to non-IgE mediated food allergies.

Not every children who react to a certain food own an allergy. They may own food intolerance. Examples are lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, sulfite sensitivity or dye sensitivity. Staying away from these foods is the best way to avoid a reaction. Your child’s doctor may propose other steps to prevent a reaction. If your kid has any food allergy symptoms, see your child’s doctor or allergist.

Only a doctor can properly diagnose whether your kid has an IgE- or non-IgE food allergy. Both can be present in some children.

Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)

Eosinophilic (ee-uh-sin-uh-fil-ik) esophagitis is an inflamed esophagus. The esophagus is a tube from the throat to the stomach. An allergy to a food can cause this condition.

With EoE, swallowing food can be hard and painful. Symptoms in infants and toddlers are irritability, problems with eating and poor weight acquire. Older children may own reflux, vomiting, stomach pain, chest pain and a feeling love food is “stuck” in their throat. The symptoms can happen days or even weeks after eating a food allergen.

EoE is treated by special diets that remove the foods that are causing the condition.

Medication may also be used to reduce inflammation.

Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES)

FPIES is another type of food allergy. It most often affects young infants. Symptoms generally don’t appear for two or more hours. Symptoms include vomiting, which starts about 2 hours or later after eating the food causing the condition. This condition can also cause diarrhea and failure to acquire weight or height.

Once the baby stops eating the food causing the allergy, the symptoms go away. Rarely, severe vomiting and diarrhea can happen which can lead to dehydration and even shock. Shock occurs when the body is not getting enough blood flow. Emergency treatment for severe symptoms must happen correct away at a hospital. The foods most likely to cause a reaction are dairy, soy, rice, oat, barley, green beans, peas, sweet potatoes, squash and poultry.

Allergic Proctocolitis

Allergic proctocolitis is an allergy to formula or breast milk. This condition inflames the lower part of the intestine.

It affects infants in their first year of life and generally ends by age 1 year.

The symptoms include blood-streaked, watery and mucus-filled stools. Infants may also develop green stools, diarrhea, vomiting, anemia (low blood count) and fussiness. When properly diagnosed, symptoms resolve once the offending food(s) are removed from the diet.

Medical review December

The ABC’s of Latex Allergy

Table of Contents

What is latex?

What are the symptoms of latex allergy?

How can I be certain I am allergic to latex?

How did I become allergic to latex?

Do I actually need to touch latex to own a reaction?

Can latex allergy be treated?

Will allergy shots help?

Why did my doctor give me a prescription for injectable epinephrine (EpiPen)?

Isn’t there anything I can do to prevent allergic reactions to latex?

List of Items that can contain latex

What do I do about my dentist/doctor who has never heard of latex allergy?

Will my latex allergy ever go away?

Make certain you

What is latex?

Latex is a milky white sap which drips from the Brazilian rubber tree when the bark is cut.

It is a major ingredient in most rubber products.

Rubber made with latex (called «natural rubber latex,» or NRL) is extremely favorite because of its strength, flexibility, tear resistance and elasticity. Thousands of common household items contain NRL, from shoes to pacifiers to rubber bands. Because it is also an effective barrier against bacteria and viruses, NRL is routinely used in products such as surgical gloves and condoms to stop the spread of infectious disease.

Depending on how the latex is manufactured, two kinds of NRL can be produced. Crepe rubber is hardened, and is used in products such as tires and rubber balls. Liquid latex, on the other hand, is used to make thin stretchy products such as rubber bands, balloons, and surgical gloves.

The excellent news is that the vast majority of latex sensitive people are only allergic to liquid latex products. The bad news is that — with infectious disease control so prevalent in health care settings — the use of liquid latex products has skyrocketed during the past ten years.

During that same ten year period, latex allergy has become increasingly common, especially among health care workers. Today it is estimated that 5 to 10% of every health care workers own latex allergy.

Back to Top

What are the symptoms of latex allergy?

There are two kinds of latex allergy symptoms: delayed and immediate.

The most common symptom of delayed latex allergy is an itchy, red, mildly swollen rash which appears only on areas of the skin which actually touched the latex.

Symptoms typically emerge l 0 to 30 hours after contact. In severe cases, blisters may appear. These symptoms are generally caused not by the latex itself, but by certain chemicals added to rubber during processing. (The exact substance which causes the allergic reaction — in this case, the chemical — is called an allergen).

Symptoms occurring within minutes of exposure to the latex are generally immediate reactions. Immediate allergic reactions may involve parts of the body which did not actually touch the NRL. For example, contact with latex gloves during a dental exam or surgery may cause hives over the entire body.

In the most severe cases, immediate allergic reactions may involve the airways, lungs, and heart, leading to life-threatening situations. Symptoms to immediate allergic reactions include:

  1. The sooner the medication is injected, the better your chances of stopping the anaphylactic reaction.
  2. Hay fever-like symptoms, including nasal stuffiness, sneezing, a runny nose, and itching of the nose, eyes, or roof of the mouth.
  3. Wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.
  4. Anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction which includes blocked airways, swelling of the throat, and a drop in blood pressure.
  5. Hives, or itchy welts that may appear on any part of the body.
  6. It is better to be safe than sorry.

    Taking epinephrine when it is not needed will probably not cause serious problems.

  7. Epinephrine provides only temporary relief. Immediately after injecting the medicine, have someone take you to the nearesthospital emergency department.

The allergens at fault in immediate allergic reactions are proteins which are actually part of the latex as it occurs in nature.

Gloves which are labeled «hypo-allergenic» rarely cause delayed allergic reactions. However, «hypo-allergenic» gloves may cause immediate reactions.

Back to Top

How can I be certain I am allergic to latex?

Your doctor will first take your medical history to get a finish understanding of your symptoms and their possible causes. For instance, you will be asked where you were and what you were doing when you first noticed your symptoms. You will probably also be asked whether you own asthma or any other allergies, whether you frequently come in contact with latex products at home or on the occupation, whether you own been hospitalized, and how often you own had surgery.

Your doctor will then give you a physical examination, paying special attention to the skin, head and chest.

To confirm a diagnosis of latex allergy, your doctor may give you a skin test or act out a blood test.

For a skin test, a little drop of your suspected allergen is lightly pricked into your skin to see whether you own a reaction. However, since severe reactions can result from an extremely tiny quantity of allergen, most doctors currently base their diagnosis of latex allergy on the results of a thorough medical history, physical exam, and blood tests.

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How did I become allergic to latex?

The tendency to develop allergies is inherited.

What latex allergy

If you are love most people with latex allergy, you probably own other allergies as well. As a matter of fact, people with latex allergy are often also allergic to banana, avocado, chestnut and other foods!

As with every allergies, you must be repeatedly exposed to latex before you develop a sensitivity to it. The more frequently and intensely you come in contact with latex, the more likely you are to develop the allergy.

For this reason, health care workers — who are surrounded by NRL items in their workplace — often develop latex allergy. Those same health care settings put patients who own multiple surgeries at high risk. In specific, almost half of every children with spina bifida (who own numerous surgeries) are allergic to latex.

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Do I actually need to touch latex to own a reaction?

Unfortunately, no. You may react after you touch fluids that own been in contact with latex. This is especially significant in health care settings, since you may be given medication from a drug vial or IV tube containing latex parts. IV tubing may own latex parts, but the tubing is not latex.

Some people are so sensitive that they own a reaction when they simply inhale air which carries latex allergen.

For instance, sensitive people may react to inhaling the corn starch powder which comes off of latex gloves. People react to rubber balloons: sometimes when they are at a party which is decorated with balloons and, in rare cases, after driving in a car which recently transported latex balloons.

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Can latex allergy be treated?

The best way to prevent an allergic reaction from latex is to reduce your latex exposure as much as possible.

Medications may assist relieve your symptoms, but there are no medicines that will prevent you from having an allergic reaction to latex.

What latex allergy

Doctors are still experimenting to see whether giving someone medicine before exposure to latex will reduce the severity of the reaction.

If you own a red, itchy rash of a delayed reaction, your doctor may propose rubbing a corticosteroid cream or ointment on your skin. Over-the-counter preparations should relieve most rashes. If your symptoms do not vanish, enquire your doctor for a stronger prescription-only cream or ointment. In rare cases when the rash is severe, an oral corticosteroid (which is not the same thing as anabolic steroids used illegally by some athletes) may be prescribed.

If you own hay fever-like symptoms or hives, over-the-counter antihistamines (for sneezing, itching, hives and runny nose) or decongestants (for nasal stuffiness) may provide the relief you need.

Or your doctor may prescribe stronger, or non-sedating, anti-histamines or decongestants. In some cases, your doctor may also prescribe cromolyn nasal spray or corticosteroid nasal sprays to reduce swelling in your nasal passages.

If your symptoms include wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath, your doctor may prescribe anti-asthma medications. These may include both anti-inflammatory medicine and bronchodilators. Enquire your doctor for more details.

A major concern about using these types of medications is that, by reducing symptoms, people may continue to expose themselves to latex.

The more often a latex-sensitive person comes into contact with their allergen, the more sensitive they may become. And the more sensitive they become, the higher the likelihood that they will develop a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction.

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Will allergy shots help?

We do not know whether allergy shots (allergen immunotherapy) can assist people with latex allergy. As mentioned previously, a extremely little quantity of latex allergen can cause severe reactions in some people. For tbat and other technical reasons, experts do not currently recommend immunotherapy for this allergy.

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Why did my doctor give me a prescription for injectable epinephrine (EpiPen®, EpiPen Jr.®, Twinject®, Twinject Jr.®)?

Your doctor is concerned that you may own an anaphylactic reaction from latex exposure.

The only medication which can assist you during a life-threatening reaction love that is epinephrine (adrenaline). To be effective, epinephrine must be given within minutes after the first sign of allergic reaction, and it must be given by injection. Epi-Pen®, Epi-Pen Jr®, Twinject® and Twinject Jr.® are every brand names for epinephrine that come in a pre-measured, self-injectable container. There are three extremely significant points to remember about epinephrine:

Non-IgE Mediated Food Allergies

Most symptoms of non-IgE mediated food allergies involve the digestive tract. Symptoms may be vomiting and diarrhea.

The symptoms can take longer to develop and may final longer than IgE mediated allergy symptoms. Sometimes, a reaction to a food allergen occurs up 3 days after eating the food allergen.

When an allergic reaction occurs with this type of allergy, epinephrine is generally not needed. In general, the best way to treat these allergies is to stay away from the food that causes the reaction. Under are examples of conditions related to non-IgE mediated food allergies.

Not every children who react to a certain food own an allergy. They may own food intolerance. Examples are lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, sulfite sensitivity or dye sensitivity.

Staying away from these foods is the best way to avoid a reaction. Your child’s doctor may propose other steps to prevent a reaction. If your kid has any food allergy symptoms, see your child’s doctor or allergist. Only a doctor can properly diagnose whether your kid has an IgE- or non-IgE food allergy. Both can be present in some children.

Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)

Eosinophilic (ee-uh-sin-uh-fil-ik) esophagitis is an inflamed esophagus. The esophagus is a tube from the throat to the stomach. An allergy to a food can cause this condition.

With EoE, swallowing food can be hard and painful.

Symptoms in infants and toddlers are irritability, problems with eating and poor weight acquire. Older children may own reflux, vomiting, stomach pain, chest pain and a feeling love food is “stuck” in their throat. The symptoms can happen days or even weeks after eating a food allergen.

EoE is treated by special diets that remove the foods that are causing the condition. Medication may also be used to reduce inflammation.

Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES)

FPIES is another type of food allergy. It most often affects young infants.

Symptoms generally don’t appear for two or more hours. Symptoms include vomiting, which starts about 2 hours or later after eating the food causing the condition. This condition can also cause diarrhea and failure to acquire weight or height. Once the baby stops eating the food causing the allergy, the symptoms go away. Rarely, severe vomiting and diarrhea can happen which can lead to dehydration and even shock. Shock occurs when the body is not getting enough blood flow. Emergency treatment for severe symptoms must happen correct away at a hospital. The foods most likely to cause a reaction are dairy, soy, rice, oat, barley, green beans, peas, sweet potatoes, squash and poultry.

Allergic Proctocolitis

Allergic proctocolitis is an allergy to formula or breast milk.

This condition inflames the lower part of the intestine. It affects infants in their first year of life and generally ends by age 1 year.

The symptoms include blood-streaked, watery and mucus-filled stools. Infants may also develop green stools, diarrhea, vomiting, anemia (low blood count) and fussiness. When properly diagnosed, symptoms resolve once the offending food(s) are removed from the diet.

Medical review December

The ABC’s of Latex Allergy

Table of Contents

What is latex?

What are the symptoms of latex allergy?

How can I be certain I am allergic to latex?

How did I become allergic to latex?

Do I actually need to touch latex to own a reaction?

Can latex allergy be treated?

Will allergy shots help?

Why did my doctor give me a prescription for injectable epinephrine (EpiPen)?

Isn’t there anything I can do to prevent allergic reactions to latex?

List of Items that can contain latex

What do I do about my dentist/doctor who has never heard of latex allergy?

Will my latex allergy ever go away?

Make certain you

What is latex?

Latex is a milky white sap which drips from the Brazilian rubber tree when the bark is cut.

It is a major ingredient in most rubber products.

Rubber made with latex (called «natural rubber latex,» or NRL) is extremely favorite because of its strength, flexibility, tear resistance and elasticity. Thousands of common household items contain NRL, from shoes to pacifiers to rubber bands. Because it is also an effective barrier against bacteria and viruses, NRL is routinely used in products such as surgical gloves and condoms to stop the spread of infectious disease.

Depending on how the latex is manufactured, two kinds of NRL can be produced.

Crepe rubber is hardened, and is used in products such as tires and rubber balls. Liquid latex, on the other hand, is used to make thin stretchy products such as rubber bands, balloons, and surgical gloves.

The excellent news is that the vast majority of latex sensitive people are only allergic to liquid latex products. The bad news is that — with infectious disease control so prevalent in health care settings — the use of liquid latex products has skyrocketed during the past ten years. During that same ten year period, latex allergy has become increasingly common, especially among health care workers.

Today it is estimated that 5 to 10% of every health care workers own latex allergy.

Back to Top

What are the symptoms of latex allergy?

There are two kinds of latex allergy symptoms: delayed and immediate.

The most common symptom of delayed latex allergy is an itchy, red, mildly swollen rash which appears only on areas of the skin which actually touched the latex. Symptoms typically emerge l 0 to 30 hours after contact.

In severe cases, blisters may appear. These symptoms are generally caused not by the latex itself, but by certain chemicals added to rubber during processing. (The exact substance which causes the allergic reaction — in this case, the chemical — is called an allergen).

Symptoms occurring within minutes of exposure to the latex are generally immediate reactions. Immediate allergic reactions may involve parts of the body which did not actually touch the NRL. For example, contact with latex gloves during a dental exam or surgery may cause hives over the entire body.

In the most severe cases, immediate allergic reactions may involve the airways, lungs, and heart, leading to life-threatening situations. Symptoms to immediate allergic reactions include:

  1. The sooner the medication is injected, the better your chances of stopping the anaphylactic reaction.
  2. Hay fever-like symptoms, including nasal stuffiness, sneezing, a runny nose, and itching of the nose, eyes, or roof of the mouth.
  3. Wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.
  4. Anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction which includes blocked airways, swelling of the throat, and a drop in blood pressure.
  5. Hives, or itchy welts that may appear on any part of the body.
  6. It is better to be safe than sorry.

    Taking epinephrine when it is not needed will probably not cause serious problems.

  7. Epinephrine provides only temporary relief. Immediately after injecting the medicine, have someone take you to the nearesthospital emergency department.

The allergens at fault in immediate allergic reactions are proteins which are actually part of the latex as it occurs in nature.

Gloves which are labeled «hypo-allergenic» rarely cause delayed allergic reactions.

However, «hypo-allergenic» gloves may cause immediate reactions.

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How can I be certain I am allergic to latex?

Your doctor will first take your medical history to get a finish understanding of your symptoms and their possible causes. For instance, you will be asked where you were and what you were doing when you first noticed your symptoms.

What latex allergy

You will probably also be asked whether you own asthma or any other allergies, whether you frequently come in contact with latex products at home or on the occupation, whether you own been hospitalized, and how often you own had surgery.

Your doctor will then give you a physical examination, paying special attention to the skin, head and chest.

To confirm a diagnosis of latex allergy, your doctor may give you a skin test or act out a blood test. For a skin test, a little drop of your suspected allergen is lightly pricked into your skin to see whether you own a reaction.

However, since severe reactions can result from an extremely tiny quantity of allergen, most doctors currently base their diagnosis of latex allergy on the results of a thorough medical history, physical exam, and blood tests.

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How did I become allergic to latex?

The tendency to develop allergies is inherited. If you are love most people with latex allergy, you probably own other allergies as well. As a matter of fact, people with latex allergy are often also allergic to banana, avocado, chestnut and other foods!

As with every allergies, you must be repeatedly exposed to latex before you develop a sensitivity to it.

The more frequently and intensely you come in contact with latex, the more likely you are to develop the allergy.

For this reason, health care workers — who are surrounded by NRL items in their workplace — often develop latex allergy. Those same health care settings put patients who own multiple surgeries at high risk. In specific, almost half of every children with spina bifida (who own numerous surgeries) are allergic to latex.

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Do I actually need to touch latex to own a reaction?

Unfortunately, no. You may react after you touch fluids that own been in contact with latex.

This is especially significant in health care settings, since you may be given medication from a drug vial or IV tube containing latex parts. IV tubing may own latex parts, but the tubing is not latex.

Some people are so sensitive that they own a reaction when they simply inhale air which carries latex allergen. For instance, sensitive people may react to inhaling the corn starch powder which comes off of latex gloves. People react to rubber balloons: sometimes when they are at a party which is decorated with balloons and, in rare cases, after driving in a car which recently transported latex balloons.

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Can latex allergy be treated?

The best way to prevent an allergic reaction from latex is to reduce your latex exposure as much as possible.

Medications may assist relieve your symptoms, but there are no medicines that will prevent you from having an allergic reaction to latex.

Doctors are still experimenting to see whether giving someone medicine before exposure to latex will reduce the severity of the reaction.

If you own a red, itchy rash of a delayed reaction, your doctor may propose rubbing a corticosteroid cream or ointment on your skin. Over-the-counter preparations should relieve most rashes. If your symptoms do not vanish, enquire your doctor for a stronger prescription-only cream or ointment. In rare cases when the rash is severe, an oral corticosteroid (which is not the same thing as anabolic steroids used illegally by some athletes) may be prescribed.

If you own hay fever-like symptoms or hives, over-the-counter antihistamines (for sneezing, itching, hives and runny nose) or decongestants (for nasal stuffiness) may provide the relief you need.

Or your doctor may prescribe stronger, or non-sedating, anti-histamines or decongestants. In some cases, your doctor may also prescribe cromolyn nasal spray or corticosteroid nasal sprays to reduce swelling in your nasal passages.

If your symptoms include wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath, your doctor may prescribe anti-asthma medications. These may include both anti-inflammatory medicine and bronchodilators. Enquire your doctor for more details.

A major concern about using these types of medications is that, by reducing symptoms, people may continue to expose themselves to latex.

The more often a latex-sensitive person comes into contact with their allergen, the more sensitive they may become. And the more sensitive they become, the higher the likelihood that they will develop a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction.

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Will allergy shots help?

We do not know whether allergy shots (allergen immunotherapy) can assist people with latex allergy. As mentioned previously, a extremely little quantity of latex allergen can cause severe reactions in some people. For tbat and other technical reasons, experts do not currently recommend immunotherapy for this allergy.

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Why did my doctor give me a prescription for injectable epinephrine (EpiPen®, EpiPen Jr.®, Twinject®, Twinject Jr.®)?

Your doctor is concerned that you may own an anaphylactic reaction from latex exposure.

The only medication which can assist you during a life-threatening reaction love that is epinephrine (adrenaline). To be effective, epinephrine must be given within minutes after the first sign of allergic reaction, and it must be given by injection. Epi-Pen®, Epi-Pen Jr®, Twinject® and Twinject Jr.® are every brand names for epinephrine that come in a pre-measured, self-injectable container. There are three extremely significant points to remember about epinephrine:

  • Call your local hospital emergency department and ambulance service before you ever need their services to enquire them to develop «latex free protocols.»
  • Warn your doctor about your latex allergy.

    If necessary, enquire the doctor who diagnosed your allergy for a letter documenting it.

  • Ask to be the first patient in the morning to minimize your exposure to airborne latex particles (such as the corn starch on latex examining gloves). Enquire your doctor to make certain that no one uses latex products until you own left the office.
  • Discuss which items containing latex would normally be used for your care.
  • It is better to be safe than sorry. Taking epinephrine when it is not needed will probably not cause serious problems.
  • You may need to bring your own non-latex gloves to your appointment.

    Enquire the doctor who diagnosed your allergy for an up-to-date list of suppliers of non-latex gloves.

  • Carry your injectable epinephrine With you at Every TIMES.
  • Are familiar with common items that contain latex.
  • Wear a Medic-Alert ID bracelet at every times.
  • Epinephrine provides only temporary relief. Immediately after injecting the medicine, have someone take you to the nearesthospital emergency department.
  • Have a personal supply of non-latex gloves to bring to your doctor or dental appointments in case they do not stock them.
  • Explain your allergy and your immediate need for epinephrine in case of a life-threatening reaction to your family, shut friends, and co-workers.
  • The sooner the medication is injected, the better your chances of stopping the anaphylactic reaction.
  • Understand when and how to give yourself an injection of epinephrine (Ask your doctor or health care provider if you are not sure).
  • Have a card or letter from your doctor documenting your latex allergy (for your school, employer, or other doctors).

Your doctor or nurse will talk to you about when and how to use your epinephrine.

Basically, epinephrine should be taken any time symptoms show that significant organs — such as the heart or lungs — are affected.

For instance, if you blow up a latex balloon and your lips swell up and itch, there is no need for epinephrine. But if you start to own trouble breathing, if your voice changes, or if it feels love your throat is swelling, take epinephrine immediately!

What latex allergy

Every of these symptoms indicate that the allergic reaction involves your airways. If the reaction is not stopped, it may quickly and totally block your ability to breathe.

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Isn’t there anything I can do to prevent allergic reactions to latex?

The only way to prevent your symptoms is to avoid contact with latex. Unfortunately, that will not be simple, since NRL is found virtually everywhere today.

However, unless you are highly allergic, you will not react to most latex household items unless they touch broken skin, or mucus membranes (such as lips, the vagina, etc.). The following lists should give you an thought of the kinds of products which you should avoid because they contain latex. If you are ever unsure about a specific product, contact the manufacturer directly, and enquire whether the product contains NRL

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AT HOME AND WORK:

Bandages
Baby bottle nipples
Balloons
Carpet backing
Condoms
Diaphragms
Douche bulbs
Elastic in clothing and disposable diapers
Erasers
Eye dropper bulbs
Boiling water bottles
«Koosh» balls
Pacifiers
Paints*
Rubber hand grips on racquets, bicycles, garden tools, etc.

Rubber bands
Rubber clothing (such as rain coats)
Rubber gloves
Rubber toys
Shoes
Anesthesia masks
Bandages for burns
Bite blocks
Blood pressure cuffs
Breathing circuits
Catheters: arterial, epidural, Foley, Texas, venous
Cervical caps
Cervical dilators
Dental dams
Elastic bandages
Electrode pads
Endotracheal tubes
Injection adapters
Esophageal dilators
Esophageal protective covers
Eye dropper bulbs
Face masks with elastic bands
Feeding tubes
Finger cots
Gloves: examination and surgical
Hemodialyzers
Boiling water bottles
Implants
Instrument mats
IV injection ports
Nasal-pharyngeal airways
Orthodontic elastics
Prophy cups
Reservoir breathing bags
Rubber sheeting or pillows
Rubber stoppers in meds
Syringe stoppers
Tooth protectors
Tourniquet
Ultrasound covers
Urine bags and straps
Ventilator bellows
Ventilator tubing
Warming blankets
Wheelchair tires
Wound drains 

Back to Top

What do I do about my dentist/doctor who has never heard of latex allergy?

The expression about latex allergy is quickly spreading among health care professionals, but not everyone has had patients with the problem.

Most latex-sensitive people who take the following steps should be capable to get care in any doctor’s office:

  1. You may need to bring your own non-latex gloves to your appointment. Enquire the doctor who diagnosed your allergy for an up-to-date list of suppliers of non-latex gloves.
  2. Warn your doctor about your latex allergy. If necessary, enquire the doctor who diagnosed your allergy for a letter documenting it.
  3. Discuss which items containing latex would normally be used for your care.
  4. Ask to be the first patient in the morning to minimize your exposure to airborne latex particles (such as the corn starch on latex examining gloves).

    Enquire your doctor to make certain that no one uses latex products until you own left the office.

Back to Top

Will my latex allergy ever go away?

Presently, we know extremely little about how latex allergy develops or whether or not it will go away. For most other forms of allergy, people who carefully avoid their allergen may discover that they experience a gradual loss of allergic sensitivity over several years. Unfortunately, we do not know yet whether this is also true for latex.

Back to Top

If your doctor thinks you could own a life-threatening allergic reaction to latex make certain you:

  1. Explain your allergy and your immediate need for epinephrine in case of a life-threatening reaction to your family, shut friends, and co-workers.
  2. Wear a Medic-Alert ID bracelet at every times.
  3. Carry your injectable epinephrine With you at Every TIMES.
  4. Understand when and how to give yourself an injection of epinephrine (Ask your doctor or health care provider if you are not sure).
  5. Call your local hospital emergency department and ambulance service before you ever need their services to enquire them to develop «latex free protocols.»

If you have a latex allergy, make certain you:

  1. Have a personal supply of non-latex gloves to bring to your doctor or dental appointments in case they do not stock them.
  2. Are familiar with common items that contain latex.
  3. Have a card or letter from your doctor documenting your latex allergy (for your school, employer, or other doctors).

Back to Top

This booklet was developed and written by the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan and The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

This booklet was funded by the D.

Clark Swalm, Jr. Allergy and Immunology Education and Research Endowment Fund.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping people with asthma and allergic diseases through education, support for research, and an array of services offered by a national network of chapters and affiliated support groups. For a free information packet about asthma and allergies, call: ASTHMA

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

15th Highway, NW, Suite

Washington, DC

()

Fax: ()

ASTHMA

HENRY FORD HEALTH SYSTEM

Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

Department of Pediatrics 1 Ford Place

Detroit, MI

()

Fax: ()

© Henry Ford Health System , 5M, PP,

Back to Top

Your doctor or nurse will talk to you about when and how to use your epinephrine.

Basically, epinephrine should be taken any time symptoms show that significant organs — such as the heart or lungs — are affected.

For instance, if you blow up a latex balloon and your lips swell up and itch, there is no need for epinephrine. But if you start to own trouble breathing, if your voice changes, or if it feels love your throat is swelling, take epinephrine immediately! Every of these symptoms indicate that the allergic reaction involves your airways. If the reaction is not stopped, it may quickly and totally block your ability to breathe.

Back to Top

Isn’t there anything I can do to prevent allergic reactions to latex?

The only way to prevent your symptoms is to avoid contact with latex.

Unfortunately, that will not be simple, since NRL is found virtually everywhere today. However, unless you are highly allergic, you will not react to most latex household items unless they touch broken skin, or mucus membranes (such as lips, the vagina, etc.). The following lists should give you an thought of the kinds of products which you should avoid because they contain latex. If you are ever unsure about a specific product, contact the manufacturer directly, and enquire whether the product contains NRL

Back to Top

AT HOME AND WORK:

Bandages
Baby bottle nipples
Balloons
Carpet backing
Condoms
Diaphragms
Douche bulbs
Elastic in clothing and disposable diapers
Erasers
Eye dropper bulbs
Boiling water bottles
«Koosh» balls
Pacifiers
Paints*
Rubber hand grips on racquets, bicycles, garden tools, etc.

Rubber bands
Rubber clothing (such as rain coats)
Rubber gloves
Rubber toys
Shoes
Anesthesia masks
Bandages for burns
Bite blocks
Blood pressure cuffs
Breathing circuits
Catheters: arterial, epidural, Foley, Texas, venous
Cervical caps
Cervical dilators
Dental dams
Elastic bandages
Electrode pads
Endotracheal tubes
Injection adapters
Esophageal dilators
Esophageal protective covers
Eye dropper bulbs
Face masks with elastic bands
Feeding tubes
Finger cots
Gloves: examination and surgical
Hemodialyzers
Boiling water bottles
Implants
Instrument mats
IV injection ports
Nasal-pharyngeal airways
Orthodontic elastics
Prophy cups
Reservoir breathing bags
Rubber sheeting or pillows
Rubber stoppers in meds
Syringe stoppers
Tooth protectors
Tourniquet
Ultrasound covers
Urine bags and straps
Ventilator bellows
Ventilator tubing
Warming blankets
Wheelchair tires
Wound drains 

Back to Top

What do I do about my dentist/doctor who has never heard of latex allergy?

The expression about latex allergy is quickly spreading among health care professionals, but not everyone has had patients with the problem.

Most latex-sensitive people who take the following steps should be capable to get care in any doctor’s office:

  1. You may need to bring your own non-latex gloves to your appointment. Enquire the doctor who diagnosed your allergy for an up-to-date list of suppliers of non-latex gloves.
  2. Warn your doctor about your latex allergy. If necessary, enquire the doctor who diagnosed your allergy for a letter documenting it.
  3. Discuss which items containing latex would normally be used for your care.
  4. Ask to be the first patient in the morning to minimize your exposure to airborne latex particles (such as the corn starch on latex examining gloves).

    What latex allergy

    Enquire your doctor to make certain that no one uses latex products until you own left the office.

Back to Top

Will my latex allergy ever go away?

Presently, we know extremely little about how latex allergy develops or whether or not it will go away. For most other forms of allergy, people who carefully avoid their allergen may discover that they experience a gradual loss of allergic sensitivity over several years. Unfortunately, we do not know yet whether this is also true for latex.

Back to Top

If your doctor thinks you could own a life-threatening allergic reaction to latex make certain you:

  1. Explain your allergy and your immediate need for epinephrine in case of a life-threatening reaction to your family, shut friends, and co-workers.
  2. Wear a Medic-Alert ID bracelet at every times.
  3. Carry your injectable epinephrine With you at Every TIMES.
  4. Understand when and how to give yourself an injection of epinephrine (Ask your doctor or health care provider if you are not sure).
  5. Call your local hospital emergency department and ambulance service before you ever need their services to enquire them to develop «latex free protocols.»

If you have a latex allergy, make certain you:

  1. Have a personal supply of non-latex gloves to bring to your doctor or dental appointments in case they do not stock them.
  2. Are familiar with common items that contain latex.
  3. Have a card or letter from your doctor documenting your latex allergy (for your school, employer, or other doctors).

Back to Top

This booklet was developed and written by the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan and The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

This booklet was funded by the D.

Clark Swalm, Jr. Allergy and Immunology Education and Research Endowment Fund.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping people with asthma and allergic diseases through education, support for research, and an array of services offered by a national network of chapters and affiliated support groups. For a free information packet about asthma and allergies, call: ASTHMA

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

15th Highway, NW, Suite

Washington, DC

()

Fax: ()

ASTHMA

HENRY FORD HEALTH SYSTEM

Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

Department of Pediatrics 1 Ford Place

Detroit, MI

()

Fax: ()

© Henry Ford Health System , 5M, PP,

Back to Top


Common allergies

Substances that cause allergic reactions are called allergens.

The more common allergens include:

  1. medicines – including ibuprofen, aspirin and certain antibiotics
  2. latex – used to make some gloves and condoms
  3. mould – these can release little particles into the air that you can breathe in
  4. animal dander, tiny flakes of skin or hair
  5. insect bites and stings
  6. dust mites
  7. grass and tree pollen – an allergy to these is known as hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
  8. food – particularly nuts, fruit, shellfish, eggs and cows’ milk
  9. household chemicals – including those in detergents and hair dyes

Most of these allergens are generally harmless to people who are not allergic to them.


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