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Information on Latex Allergy

Latex allergy can be affiliated with certain types ofsymptoms which may range from mild to severe intensity. Latex comes from therubber plant whose botanical name is hevea brasiliensis. The plant is used forthe commercial rubber production and latex is actually its milky sap. Thenatural latex is a common ingredient of numerous different types of productssuch as rubber gloves, water bottles, rubber bands, condoms, pacifiers,sanitary pads, shoe soles, disposable diapers, balloons, rubber toys andseveral others.

There are people who are allergic to specific types of proteinwhich can be found in the natural rubber latex. This occurs because the humanbody identifies latex as an invading substance and the allergic reactions kicksin as a reaction of the immune system. The immune system produces antibodies inorder to fight the unwanted inventing substance, and in this case it is naturalrubber latex.

There is a type I latex allergy and a type IV latex allergy. TypeI is immediate and it may be life threatening in some cases because it tends toget affiliated with certain serious medical conditions such as anaphylaxis. TypeIV latex allergy is a delayed hypersensitivity reaction characterized by skinrash or hives.

Latex Allergy Symptoms and Treatment

Latex allergy can be triggered by the inhalation of latexparticles or by means of a direct contact. Mild symptoms of latex allergy mayor may not include itching, cough, skin rash, runny nose, hives, watery eyesand sneezing. Severe symptoms of latex allergy may or may not includeanaphylaxis, weak pulse, shortness of breath, rapid pulse, chest tightness,vomiting, wheezing, nausea, low blood pressure, slurred speech, dizziness andconfusion. Different ways of diagnosing latex allergy include patch test,radio-allergo-sorbent-test, skin test, RAST and blood test.

The best way toprevent the allergic reaction from occurring is to avoid the allergen in the firstplace. The allergy can be treated by using several different types ofantihistamines, epinephrine injections and corticosteroids. Injections areusually used only for immediate purposes. Corticosteroids are usually appliedorally or topically at the affected areas of the skin.

Those who are allergicto latex should avoid using any rubber products. Latex allergy can also beassociated with certain other allergies to certain types of fruit such asbanana, chestnuts, strawberries, avocados, pineapple, passion fruit and kiwifruit. Those who are allergic to latex may wear a medical alert bracelet.

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