Latex allergies are rare in the United States, but they can cause several problems for someone suffering from them. In this article, we will discuss latex allergies and latex allergy treatments offered at The Allergy Suite in Novi, MI.
What is a latex allergy?
A latex allergy is the reaction of your body’s immune system to certain proteins found in natural rubber latex, an item produced from the rubber tree. It is used to make products like rubber gloves, condoms, rubber bands and medical devices. When you have a latex allergy, your body mistakenly identifies latex as a harmful substance and triggers the release of antibodies to fight it.
Coming in contact with these products can result in an allergic reaction. Some individuals have allergic reactions from skin contact with latex, whereas others have allergic reactions just by breathing in latex fibers in the air.
Symptoms of a latex allergy can range from mild to severe, depending on the degree of your sensitivity to latex and the amount of latex you come in contact with. Additionally, your allergic reaction can become worse with each latex exposure as your immune system is likely to respond in a stronger way every time.
The common symptoms include
- Rash or hives
- Cou throat
- Inflammation of the eyes
- Redness of skin
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Eczema or blisters on hands
- Difficulty breathing
There are chances of a severe reaction to latex, which is known as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis develops on latex exposure in highly sensitive people, and can be life-threatening. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include severe breathing difficulty, dizziness, drop in blood pressure, shock and loss of consciousness. In rare cases, it can even lead to death.
What to do in case of a latex allergy?
Firstly, avoid any contact with latex products. Since a latex allergy can worsen the more you come in contact with it, clear your home of all latex products. Always check labels of products to ensure they do not contain latex. “Hypoallergenic” products might not be latex-free, so ensure to check those as well. Wear some kind of a medical alert identification to tell people around you in case of an allergic reaction.
Secondly, whenever you detect traces of latex allergy in your body, contact an allergy-specialist doctor. If possible, visit your allergist when you’re having an allergy reaction, which will help in proper diagnosis. Moreover, ask your doctor for a letter about your latex allergy. When you feel like you’re having a more severe reaction or an anaphylactic one, seek emergency medical care.
In case of a skin allergy, your doctor might prescribe antihistamines, corticosteroid medicines and ointments like calamine or a hydrocortisone cream. In case of severe reactions, you might need Epinephrine, IV fluids and observational care from medical professionals.
Allergists undergo specialized training in managing and treating allergies, allergic rhinitis and asthma. They possess the requisite expertise to develop a proper treatment plan depending on the kind of allergy. A doctor specializing in allergies will assist you in leading a normal and symptom-free life to the most possible extent. To seek help from a specialist allergist regarding you latex allergy or suspected latex allergy in Michigan, contact us at The Allergy Suite.