Latex is a natural rubber used to manufacture many common products we use in everyday life. Latex allergy is becoming a common problem since the late 1980’s, most likely because of the increased exposure to the latex by the use of the common latex-containing products at home and at work. Natural rubber latex is used to make some gloves, condoms, balloons, rubber bands, erasers and toys. Latex can also be found in bottle nipples and pacifiers. Symptoms of allergy to latex result from skin contact with latex, or inhaling the latex particles.
Doctors, nurses and other health workers are at more risk for developing serious allergic reactions to latex. Also people who had several medical procedures or surgeries are at higher risk. Rubber industry workers are also at higher risk to develop allergy to latex. Latex allergy sufferers commonly show allergic reactions to certain foods such as bananas, avocadoes, kiwi fruit and chestnuts.
Latex allergy sufferers complain of one or more of the following:
- Nose allergy: Runny, stuffy, and itchy nose and Excessive sneezing
- Asthma: Chronic cough, Shortness of breath, wheezing and tightness in the chest
- Nausea, dizziness or light deadness
- Anaphylaxis (allergy shock), a life-threatening emergency.
- Skin allergy: hives, eczema, itchy skin and flushed skin.
- Asthma: Cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, and tightness of the chest
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