People can suffer from various types of allergies and latex allergy is a pretty common type. People who suffer from latex allergy actually experience an allergic reaction to natural rubber latex.
Definition of latex allergy
First of all, people should get to know what natural rubber latex actually is. This rubber latex comes from a certain tree called Hevea brasiliensis which originates from Africa and Southeast Asia. A lot of people make the mistake of mixing natural rubber latex with synthetic rubber but they are not the same. People who are allergic to natural rubber latex will not experience any inconveniences when they come in contact with synthetic rubber products.
It is important not to forget that natural rubber latex can be found in various products as it is one of the components which are included quite a lot in lots of medical supplies and dental supplies. Apart from these supplies, this ingredient can be found in condoms, balloons, athletic shoes, tires, tools, rubber toys, baby bottles and in many more products.
People who are allergic to latex may experience a reaction every time they get in contact with this ingredient. Two of the pretty common situations when people suffer from a reaction are when a person is at a dentist’s and he or she is receiving dental care from the dentist who is wearing latex gloves. The second situation is when a person blows up a latex balloon.
People who are allergic to latex need to know that they can experience a reaction when they come in contact with some food. The most common food allergies in people who are allergic to latex are those to apple, almonds, banana, carrot, celery, kiwi, hazelnut, pear, raw potato and some more.
Symptoms of latex allergy
Almost every time a person gets in contact with natural rubber latex, he or she will experience certain symptoms. Some of the most commonly seen symptoms of latex allergy are stuffy nose, hives, wheezing and problems with breathing. People need to know that these are considered to be normal reactions but there are severe ones as well. For instance, a person may experience anaphylaxis and that is considered to be the most severe case. People need to know that anaphylaxis is a reaction which affects more than one body part at the same time. Since this is a life-threatening situation, people should learn about the symptoms of the shock. The most common signs are dizziness, confusion, wheezing, vomiting, nausea, rapid or weak pulse and even loss of consciousness.
Apart from these signs there are some others that people may end up suffering from like itching, redness and swelling. All of these symptoms will occur in a place of the body that got in contact with latex.
People should be aware that getting in contact with latex is not the only way a person can experience an allergic reaction. People can inhale latex proteins and that will cause an allergic reaction as well.
Even though it is not common, some people get bumps, sores and cracks on their hands when they wear latex gloves. These allergic reactions usually occur in a period of 12 to 36 hours after wearing the gloves. If this is the case, people should simply switch to wearing non-latex gloves.
Treatment options for latex allergy
First of all, there is no cure for this allergy and a person who develops it will suffer from it for the rest of his or her life. However, there are medications that will reduce the symptoms of latex allergy.
The best possible treatment option for latex allergy is prevention. Experts agree that a person who wishes to avoid developing latex allergy has the best chance of achieving that by avoiding getting in contact with products which contain natural rubber latex.
However, that is not always possible and a lot of people get in contact with latex containing products at least once during their lives.
Experts advise people who already suffered from a serious reaction to latex to always have injectable epinephrine with them all the time. Apart from that, people should also wear a warning bracelet.
Getting to know as much as it is possible about latex is an excellent way to reduce the risk of developing an allergy to it.
According to the data, up to 17% of all healthcare workers in the United States suffer from latex allergy. Some 68% of all children who suffer from spina bifida also have latex allergy. The data claims that no more than 1% of all people in the United States suffer from latex allergy and that is 3 million people.
People should know that there is no rule and everyone can develop latex allergy. However, those exposed to the highest risk are people working in health care and rubber industry. People who already suffer from hay fever are at most risk of developing latex allergy.