“Are you allergic to latex?”
Are you affected by allergies?
a routine question asked in doctors’ offices, hospitals and labs.
If you have not been formally diagnosed with a latex allergy but are suspicious that you may be developing one,
what symptoms should you be looking for?
Airborne Latex Allergy Symptoms: Individuals may experience an allergic reaction similar to hay fever when
repeatedly exposed to airborne latex particles such as those commonly released with the use of powdered gloves.
Symptoms include coughing, stuffy nose, itchy and watery eyes, a rash or hives and difficulty breathing.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis Symptoms: This is very different from irritant contact dermatitis which causes
skin to become red and cracked, a common enough occurrence among regular glove wearers. Allergic contact
dermatitis is an actual allergic response to the latex proteins in the gloves or other residual chemicals used
in the manufacturing process. A skin rash may appear within 24 to 48 hours after contact and can spread to areas
of the body beyond the hands. The rash may turn to weeping blisters.
Anaphylactic Shock Symptoms: This is the 9-1-1 of latex allergy responses because it is potentially fatal.
The reaction is immediate upon latex exposure and causes constriction of airways and breathing difficulty.
Dizziness and a radical drop in blood pressure can cause loss of consciousness. Wheezing, speech difficulties,
confusion, rapid or weak pulse, bluish skin color, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea are other indicators of anaphylactic shock.