Could Latex Be the Culprit?

Latex allergies are becoming more common and affecting more people each year. This particular allergy can be very serious and life-threatening if not properly identified. It is triggered from a protein in natural latex which is found in rubber trees

High risk populations:

  • Healthcare workers
  • History of multiple medical procedures
  • Diagnosis of spina bifida
  • History of eczema, allergic rhinitis, or asthma

Allergic reaction symptoms to latex:

  • Mild - itching, redness of skin, and hives or rashes
  • Moderate - sneezing, runny nose, itchy/watery eyes, scratchy throat, difficulty breathing, wheezing, and coughing
  • Severe - difficulty breathing, wheezing, drop in blood pressure, dizziness, loss of consciousness, confusion, and a rapid or weak pulse. If you have any of these severe symptoms you need to call 911 or go to the nearest hospital immediately.

Treatment:

  • Strict avoidance
  • Autoinjectable epinephrine (EpiPen, Auvi-Q)
  • Medic alert bracelet

Potential triggers in your home:

  • rubber sink mats and sink stoppers
  • rubber grips on kitchen utensils
  • rubber backing on bath mats
  • rubber lining on toothbrushes
  • clothing with elastic bands
  • adhesives (glue, paste, art supplies, etc.)
  • pens with comfort grips
  • toys
  • bottle nipples
  • pacifiers

Outside of the home:

  • grocery store check-out belts
  • restaurants that prepare food with latex gloves
  • balloons
  • ATM machine buttons
  • some adhesive bandages

The best thing you can do for any allergy is to know the symptoms and avoid the potential triggers. If you have any questions about latex allergies, give us a call at 423.468.3267.