You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in allergies (allergist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.
What you can do
- Write down your symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Document any exposure to latex, when it occurred and what type of reaction you had.
- Write down key personal information, including major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications you're taking, including vitamins and supplements.
- Take a family member or friend, if possible. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions before your appointment will help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For latex allergy, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
- What are other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
- What tests do I need?
- What's the best treatment?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- How can I avoid contact with latex?
- Are there brochures or other printed material that I can have? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions, as well.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
- When did your symptoms begin?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- Do you have allergies, such as hay fever or allergies to certain foods?
- Is there a history of allergies in your family?
- Have you been exposed to latex products?
- If you had symptoms after wearing latex gloves, how long did it take for the symptoms to develop?
- What surgeries have you had and when?
What you can do in the meantime
If you suspect you have a latex allergy, try to avoid contact with anything that contains latex.
Oct. 14, 2014
- Hamilton RG. Latex allergy: Epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 8, 2014.
- Hamilton RG. Latex allergy: Management. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 8, 2014.
- What you need to know about latex allergies. Spina Bifida Association. http://www.spinabifidaassociation.org/site/c.evKRI7OXIoJ8H/b.8031517/apps/s/content.asp?ct=12058863. Accessed Aug. 8, 2014.
- Latex allergy: A prevention guide. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/98-113/. Accessed Aug. 8, 2014.
- Latex allergy. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. http://www.acaai.org/ALLERGIST/ALLERGIES/TYPES/LATEX-ALLERGY/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed Aug. 8, 2014.
- Anaphylaxis symptoms and reactions. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. http://www.acaai.org/allergist/allergies/Anaphylaxis/Pages/anaphylaxis-symptoms.aspx. Accessed Aug. 8, 2014.