Hypersensitivity types may be- Type I Allergy or Type IV Allergy
Immune reactions may be from- IgE or T Cells
Reactions may occur in- Minutes to over 24 Hours
Obtained from the sap of the Hevea brasiliensis, if a person has a Latex Allergy their body mistakes latex for a harmful substance, which can lead to many uncomfortable symptoms and in some cases anaphylaxis.
A Latex allergic reaction occurs when proteins contained in natural rubber latex, are exposed to someone with a Latex Allergy. This is not to be mistaken for synthetic rubber made from chemicals, that do not trigger allergic reactions.
Strong and stretchy, many household products are made from latex (Scroll below to see the some common places it can be found), which makes avoidance tricky for those with Latex allergies who are unaware of its presence.
Latex allergies may often develop with frequent exposure over a period of time, such as anyone who frequently wears latex gloves (Health Care workers, Chefs) or people who are often exposed to natural rubber latex, including rubber industry workers.
It may also develop within people who have had multiple surgeries (for example, 10 or more), such as children with spina bifida and people with other allergies, such as pollen or allergies to certain foods.
2. Allergic Contact Dermatitis (Chemical Reaction)- This reaction may also not be classified as an allergy, as this is where the reaction is caused by the chemicals added to the latex product, rather than the latex protein itself. Some of the symptoms may be characterised by eczema, hand blisters, rough skin patches and rashes.
3. Immediate-Type (Latex Allergy)- This reaction is due to a Latex allergy and causes the body to mount an immune system response. Some of the symptoms can be characterised by:
- Swollen lips
- Itchy skin
- Stuffy nose
- Asthma aggravation
The validity and severity of these symptoms are dependent on the individual and the level of exposure, as determined by a qualified health care provider.
If you experience or are in the presence of someone that encounters an immediate serious reaction (this may include difficulty breathing, wheezing, throat tightening, swelling, collapse, etc), call or have someone call triple zero (000) immediately.
In the case of a minor allergic reaction, people may use Antihistamines along with other medications based on their individual symptoms and prescribed treatments.
For severe allergic reactions Epinephrine may be used, followed by seeking emergency medical attention. However, some people may not be able to use Epinephrine due to particular reasons.
It’s important for anyone with an Allergy, to discuss treatments with a qualified health care provider to understand how to manage individual allergies and also to set up an Allergy Action Plan in the case of a reaction.
Always present your Allergy Card, Medical Alert Bracelet or Necklace to ensure health care providers, family members, friends, colleagues and others are aware of your Allergy or Allergies.
A skin prick test may be used to test for a Latex Allergy.
Some labels or terms you may come across on Latex Allergy friendly products:
Under the right environmental conditions, latex balloons degrade at the same rate as leaves from an oak tree.
WHERE YOU MAY COME ACROSS LATEX:
The below is not a complete list, but just some of the places, you may come across Latex.
- Baby and children’s toys
- Baby bottle nipples
- Blood pressure cuffs
- Buttons and switches on electronic devices
- Carpet backing
- Clothing with elastic bands
- Clothing- rain coats
- Contraceptive products (i.e. condoms and diaphragms)
- Dental products
- Food that was prepared by someone who was wearing latex gloves
- Gym Equipment including bands
- Handles on tools
- Intravenous tubes
- Office supplies (rubber bands, erasers, tape, etc)
- Pet toys
- Racket sport handles
- Rubber bands
- Sanitary Pads
- School supplies (rubber bands, erasers, tape, etc)
- Shoe soles
The information provided on Allergy Life Australia is to generally educate and inform you about living with allergies, intolerances and conditions, and is not intended as medical instruction or as a substitute for diagnosis, examination and advice by a qualified health care provider.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER PLACES YOU HAVE COME ACROSS LATEX? HAVE YOU HAD AN EXPERIENCE WITH A LATEX ALLERGY OR KNOW SOMEONE THAT HAS? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW