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Latex Allergy: Causes And Symptoms

Jan 21, 2008
Latex is made from a milky liquid that comes from the tropical rubber tree called Hevea brasiliensis. Rubber products, such as balloons, inflatable toys, pacifiers, rubber bands, bandages, adhesive tape, diapers, sanitary pads and condoms are made from the processed liquid from natural latex trees.

In hospitals and dental clinics, many of their supplies contain latex. These items include gloves, dental dams, products used for filling root canals, urinary catheters, tourniquets and various equipments for resuscitation. However, all these items have non-latex substitutes.

Latex allergy occurs when the proteins of the latex items cause allergic reactions in some people. The thin latex rubbers in balloons, condoms or gloves cause more reports of allergic reactions than other products made of harder rubbers such as tires.

Anyone can be affected with latex allergy because these products are everywhere, especially with people working on rubber industries and medical or dental facilities.

While latex allergy can cause mild symptoms, other people can experience life-threatening allergic reactions without any symptoms. Some of the common symptoms of latex allergy include itchiness, redness, watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing or coughing, rashes, hives, shock, chest tightness and lack of breath.

Many people have latex allergy because of certain foods. This is because some proteins in rubbers are similar to proteins found on foods, such as chestnut, tomatoes, avocados, bananas and kiwi fruits.

Latex Allergy Treatment Options

If a person experiences the symptoms of latex allergy, his or her body mistakes the latex liquid for a harmful substance. If you experience this condition frequently, it is important to understand the common sources of latex that you have or may encounter. Seek medical assistance when you believe you are experience allergic reactions to latex.

The doctor can give you a proper diagnosis of your condition and provide you with the necessary treatments to reduce symptoms immediately. Be aware that when you have been diagnosed with anaphylaxis, this condition can be life threatening and emergency care is crucial.

When your doctor feels that you have latex allergy, he or she may perform a skin test, and blood test. These tests are important to exclude medical problems and identify your body or skin's reaction to latex elements.

Although many medications, lotions and creams are available to reduce various symptoms of latex allergy, there are no cures for this condition. Be aware that doctors focus only on preventive measure to avoid allergic reactions from latex-containing products.
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