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 symptoms

Mild latex allergy symptoms include:

  • Itching
  • Skin redness
  • Hives or rash

More-severe symptoms

These include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Scratchy throat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Cough

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
  • Wheezing
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • 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

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