If you're allergic to latex, you're likely to react after being in contact with the latex in rubber gloves or by inhaling airborne latex particles released when someone removes latex gloves. Latex allergy symptoms range from mild to severe, depending on your sensitivity and the degree of latex allergen exposure. Your reaction can worsen with repeated latex exposure.
Mild latex allergy symptoms include:
- Skin redness
- Hives or rash
- Runny nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Scratchy throat
- Difficulty breathing
Anaphylactic shock symptoms
The most serious allergic reaction to latex is an anaphylactic (an-uh-fuh-LAK-tik) response, which can be deadly. Anaphylactic reactions develop immediately after latex exposure in highly sensitive people, but anaphylaxis rarely happens the first time you're exposed.
Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Hives or swelling
- Nausea and vomiting
- Drop in blood pressure
- Loss of consciousness
- Rapid or weak pulse
When to see a doctor
Seek emergency medical care if you think you're having an anaphylactic reaction.
If you have less severe reactions after exposure to latex, talk to your doctor. If possible, see your doctor when you're reacting, which will aid in diagnosis.
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.
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